Protesters demonstrating on June 25 following the death of 25-year-old Edir Frederico Da Costa who passed away six days after he was arrested in Newham, East London have further destabilised an already traumatised city. As London remain tense following the terror attacks and fatal Grenfell fire incident, the city was thrown into another unrest as a march in memory of Da Costa known more as Edson turned violent.
Protesters chanting ‘f*** the police’ were reported to have launched bricks, bottles, starting fires and eventually clashed with officers in riot gear. Police in response started to arrest people on suspicions of disorder offences; arson and criminal damage, in the process of all the chaos the Met Police reported six officers injured with a female police constable suffering head injuries.
Tweets coming in spoke accused the police of brutality. One tweet said, “Riot police inflicting even more violence and brutality on the community. They pushed a pregnant woman on the ground and dragged her”. Another person tweeted, “#ForestGate trending coz the police beat up a black man so bad he lost his life. His name was Edson Da Costa. Look him up #JusticeforEdson”.
Edson was a father of one and his family says he was ‘brutally beaten’ and left with a broken neck after police stopped him. They say the amount of injuries on him were shocking including a fractured skull and a ruptured bladder.
In a statement the police claim they used CS spray and some force to arrest him but he fell ill because he had ‘swallowed a large quantity of drugs.’
Edson’s father, Ginario da Costa said, “I will not rest until justice is served and these gangsters are put behind bars. A system that constantly condones violence without repercussion doesn’t need to be revised, it needs to be dismantled.”
A GoFundMe page has been launched to support Edson’s family to pay for legal help and his funeral. It says, “This is a call for justice, not just for Edson but for all young men that are forgotten and unprotected in this reckless system.”
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