London

Rashan Charles death: Hackney protest turns violent

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Media captionThe BBC's Alex Collins: "Windows have been smashed open"

Fireworks and bottles were hurled at riot police as a protest following the death of a black man turned violent.

Rashan Charles, 20, died after being apprehended by police in Dalston, east London, on 22 July.

Earlier, a peaceful protest took place at Stoke Newington police station which Scotland Yard said was separate.

Angry clashes broke out on Friday evening after protesters blocked part of Kingsland Road and set mattresses alight.

Some of the protestors carried Black Lives Matter placards.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating his death.

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Image caption Violence broke out in Kingsland Road during a protest over the death of Rashan Charles

Mr Charles's father, Esa, gave a statement outside Stoke Newington police station.

He was joined by the father of Edir Da Costa, who it is claimed was "brutally beaten" by Met officers in June.

That death is also being investigated by the police watchdog.

Police warned that anyone using Saturday's events "as an excuse to commit crime" would be "dealt with robustly".

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Image caption Bins, mattresses and debris were in flames

At one point protesters, some wearing masks, jumped on to a lorry and clung to the wing mirrors as it drove through the barricade.

Scores of missiles were later launched at police as they attempted to disperse the group.

Police in Hackney tweeted: "Officers have been subjected to abuse and violence. Whatever the frustrations, this is patently not what the family of Rashan Charles wanted."

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Rashan Charles died after being apprehended by police in Dalston

Videos on social media showed officers walking backwards as objects were thrown at them.

Several wheelie bins were set alight and mattresses thrown on top of the burning pile.

Shop windows were also smashed, littering the streets with glass, with those involved described by an eyewitness as "very, very angry".

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Image caption A lorry drove through a barricade in Kingsland Road with people clinging to it
Image copyright PA
Image caption Police in Hackney said they were "subjected to abuse and violence"

The crowd dispersed at about 23:40 BST, the Met said.

A 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. He was taken to an east London police station where he remains in custody.

The Met said a police officer injured his eye and a member of the public was knocked off his bike and assaulted as he tried to pass through the protest.

Det Supt Claire Crawley, from Hackney Borough, said: "The disorder of last night was separate from the peaceful protest at Stoke Newington Police Station that was held earlier that day."

She added: "We will always support the right to lawful protest but behaviour such as that seen last night cannot be tolerated."

One man who was at the demonstration told the BBC the protesters were "angry and confused" because they were "not being represented".

He suggested young people were "living in fear", adding they "don't understand how to live, how to make money, how to work for what they want", with some "forced into" situations such as selling drugs or carrying knives.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Protesters also gathered outside Stoke Newington police station on Monday

Shadow home secretary and Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott said: "The anger and upset at the death of Rashan Charles is understandable.

"But Rashan's family have explicitly spoken out against hostile actions. We must respect their wishes and any protests must be peaceful."

Philip Glanville, the mayor of Hackney, said the community intended to hold peaceful protests, but some people from outside the borough wanted to "engage in vandalism and unrest".

"What we've tried to do all week is separate the two groups, to recognise the rawness of the anger out in the community," he said.

Mr Glanville said he did not think there was a problem between the police and the community, as a lot of work had been carried out in the area following the 2011 riots.

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Image caption Police officers were seen retreating as objects were thrown at them
Image copyright PA
Image caption Riot police had fireworks and bottles thrown at them

The IPCC said "we understand the concerns raised following Rashan's death".

A statement 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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