Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and bottles have been hurled at police during a ‘Black Lives Matter’ riot in East London following the death of an alleged drug dealer.
Rashan Jermaine Charles, 20, died in hospital after being apprehended by police in Dalston, Hackney on the 22nd of July. He was attempting to flee a shop while swallowing a stash of drugs when tackled by officers, according to reports.
Following the death, masked activists bearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ placards shut down Kingsland Road, set fire to bins and mattresses, and even attempted to storm a passing lorry, the BBC reports.
Shop windows were also smashed, graffiti painted on buildings, and late-night businesses forced to close their doors.
A lorry drove through a barricade made by protesters angry at the death of Rashan Charles amid violent scenes in east London pic.twitter.com/OR9QtP92XY
— Press Association (@PA) July 29, 2017
Hackney police tweeted: “Officers have been subjected to abuse [and] violence. Whatever the frustrations, this is patently NOT what the family of Rashan Charles wanted.”
The protest began at around 4 pm on Friday, when approximately 80 people began gathering outside the shop where Mr Charles was arrested. Things turned violent as the sun went down and continued into the night.
This is the scene on Kingsland Road where gangs of masked youth are attacking the police with bottles pic.twitter.com/g5caH4zQDM
— Spectrum SINO Radio (@SINOinUK) July 28, 2017
Police horses and vans were called and a helicopter circled overhead as the police line was forced back by the crowd multiple times.
Right now in Dalston pic.twitter.com/SKbCeCOSXO
— Max Lee (@m8xyl) July 28, 2017
One passer-by told the Evening Standard in the early evening: “It’s really kicking off.
“There’s lots of police here, about 10 to 15 riot vans. Maybe 50 or 60 bottles or other missiles have been thrown.
“The police line is being slowly pushed back by the protesters. There’s lots of very angry people.”
The rioters also targeted and intimidated drivers and members of the public, with reports of people trapped in vehicles and being forced to barricade themselves in a Tesco shop.
— Brad (@brad_nb) July 28, 2017
A Dalston resident who wished to remain anonymous told the Standard: “A huge group of youths are blocking the road off with cones.
“They are telling drivers they are not allowed through the blockade.
“I ended up driving right through it as I was cornered in the car and didn’t want to U-turn as two groups of gang members appeared on either side of my car which frightened me.
“Straight ahead was a better option. Helicopter is now overhead and traffic is at a standstill. Mopeds are in road and masks are on their faces.”