London Sees Riots In Protest Over Death Of Young Father

Riot police were deployed in east London on Friday

Fireworks and bottles were hurled at riot police.

Local businesses, bars and restaurants pulled down their shutters - locking customers inside - as youths rode through the flame-lit streets on bicycles.

Dozens of people gathered outside the Dalston convenience store where Rashan Charles was tackled to the floor by police officers in the early hours of last Saturday (22 July). After trying to swallow an object, he later became ill and died in hospital.

Protesters, some wearing masks, jumped on to a lorry which drove through and clung to its wing mirrors as it hit the bins lined up in its path.

But some backed the police's version of events that Charles died after the officer in the video fought to stop him from swallowing an object.

The speaker at the vigil, which was organised by the campaign group Stand Up To Racism, said London's youngsters will use violence as it is the only way they are able to "articulate" their frustration.

The Hackney division of the Met Police tweeted an image of a damaged police vehicle, showing black scorch marks presumably from fireworks.

London residents participated in a series of anti-police brutality protests in the summer of 2011, after police shot dead a man who they claimed was "a known criminal".

A still from the video footage
A still from the video footage

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating what led to Mr Charles' death.

Earlier on Friday, Rashan Charles family had pleaded for calm and dignity.

Speaking as the crowd started to build, Richardson said there was particular concern over the number of deaths of black men "at the hands of the police and the way in which these deaths are investigated".

Ms Abbott referred to the "understandable anger" of people in Mr Charles's community but said demonstrations "must be peaceful".

Scotland Yard said "a number of items including bottles" were thrown at officers attending a "planned protest" near Middleton Road at 3.40pm on Friday.

"We will achieve this by acting within the law, and ensure there is individual and organisational accountability", a statement from the family said.

It added: "We will independently examine the circumstances of this incident, we will follow the evidence, we will consider whether there is an indication there may have been misconduct or criminality, and we will seek to answer the questions that Rashan's family and the community of Hackney understandably have".

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