The father of a man who died after being stopped by police in east London has spoken to Socialist Worker about the battle for justice.
Edson Da Costa died last month six days after police in Beckton, Newham, stopped a car he was travelling in.
His dad Ginario told Socialist Worker, “We need the police to stop doing what they’re doing. We need them to stop using force.”
Ginario said Edson was a “lovely boy” who was always making jokes. “He was only 25 years old,” said Ginario. “He was just starting his life. This needs to stop.”
Edson’s cousins previously told Socialist Worker about the injuries he suffered following the police stop.
These included scratches on his body, a badly damaged neck and blindness. The cops’ pet watchdog, the IPCC, admitted that police used “force” and CS spray.
The IPCC said it has “some body worn video which covers the medical attention Mr Da Costa received”.
However, “The officers who initially detained Mr Da Costa were not wearing body worn video.”
Footage of the police stop filmed by local residents shows residents berating the length of time it took cops to call an ambulance.
And residents on the Woodcocks estate where Edson was stopped told Socialist Worker that cops “choked” him.
Shellin is one of Edson’s cousins who met the IPCC last month. “They said there was a lot they couldn’t tell us because an investigation is ongoing,” she told Socialist Worker.
“They said the officers involved haven’t been suspended because there isn’t enough evidence.
“But you don’t need evidence to suspend them. I said that, if it had been a teacher, they would have been suspended.”
The family are raising money for legal and funeral costs.
But they cannot plan Edson’s funeral because the cause of his death hasn’t been confirmed and his body hasn’t been released.
The family were given a warm welcome at Marxism 2017 last week. And a gofundme page set up to support the family has raised nearly £6,000.
Shellin said, “We’re so grateful for all the support.”
“It’s been a very emotional time,” added Ginario. “This situation is not normal.”
Ginario said that their struggle is also about making sure that other families don’t suffer in the same way.
“This is me in this situation today but it will be somebody else tomorrow,” he said. “We want people to support our fight for justice.”
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