Beds, Herts & Bucks

Faruk Ali case: Justice march for autistic man attracts 100 protesters

Protest march in Luton
Image caption More than 100 people took part in the march through Luton

More than 100 people have taken part in a protest march to Luton Police Station after officers were cleared of assaulting an autistic man.

Two Bedfordshire officers were accused of chasing and beating Faruk Ali, 33, who has the mental age of a five-year-old, in Luton on 20 February.

Friends and supporters took part in the Justice for Faruk Ali march demanding "transparency" in the case.

Luton police station was closed this morning ahead of the march.

Image caption Faruk Ali's family are calling for a video to be released from the police car camera
Image caption Members of other justice campaigns joined the march
Image copyright SBNA
Image caption The borough council closed several roads to allow the march to pass through the town

Bedfordshire PCs Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts were found not guilty of misconduct in a public office.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into what happened is continuing.

The Ali family's solicitor, Attiq Malik has demanded a video allegedly showing the officers using racist language should be released.

Image caption The protest ended outside Luton police station, which was closed for the day
Image caption Protesters left tributes outside the police station

Protesters from the Justice for Faruk Ali campaign were joined by members of the Justice for Leon Briggs group. Leon Briggs died after being taken into police custody in Luton on 4 November 2014.

The IPCC is also investigating that case.

The march, which police said passed off peacefully, started outside Nadeem Plaza in Dunstable Road, Bury Park at about 13:00 GMT, culminating outside Luton police station in Buxton Road

Ch Insp Greg Horsford, said: "We respect that people have the right to protest peacefully and will continue to help facilitate that right.

"We would like to thank the people of the town for their patience and co-operation during today's event."

The police station is expected to reopen in the morning.

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