Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Appeal for calm followingprotests after M62 policeshooting of Mohammed YassarYaqub

A 'spontaneous protest' brought traffic to a standstill in West Yorkshire on the evening of Tuesday (3 January 2017) following the shooting of a man by police on the M62. The protest, which lasted for around three hours, took place on Shipley Airedale Road, Leeds Road, Wakefield Road and the surrounding areas following the "pre-planned" shooting of 28-year- old Mohammed Yassar Yaqub. Images and videos show around 100 protesters blocking traffic and unfurling banners reading
"this is a peaceful protest" and "police don't murder". Despite videos appearing to show some
protesters kicking police vehicles and hurling missiles, police described the disorder as minimal and confirmed they made no arrests in connection with the demonstration. The protest took place following the fatal shooting of Yaqub, who was killed by West Yorkshire Police officers on Junction 24 of the M62 motorway as he drove an Audi towards his hometown of Huddersfield on the evening of 2 January. The Independent Police Complaint's Commission (IPCC), who are investigating the incident on the M62, said a gun was found in the vehicle that Yaqub was travelling in following the shooting. Police said five people have been arrested in relation to information received about criminal
possession of a firearm in relation to the police operation. Elsewhere, Bradford West MP Naz
Shah has appealed for calm in the wake of the "disturbances which impacted upon roads within my constituency". She added: "I have been assured that West Yorkshire Police continue to be committed in facilitating peaceful protest and will continue talking and listening to communities with real concerns. The vast majority of those who attended tonight's protest were peaceful in their actions. "We must allow The IPCC investigation to take place which will take its due course, this will require our patience and support. "My heartfelt thanks to those who were involved in supporting the peaceful protest earlier and helped restore calm, in particular Molana Fazal Dad and local community leaders including elected members. "Finally, I urge the leadership of our community to work in partnership with the elected members and most importantly the agencies concerned to ensure that lessons are learnt from this tragic
incident. "I urge our community to remain calm and respect the wishes of the family who have lost their loved one and have appealed for calm and privacy during this very difficult time."
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "A spontaneous protest commenced in Bradford around 7.15pm this evening [Tuesday January 3] with protestors using Shipley Airedale Road,
Leeds Road, Wakefield Road and surrounding routes. "Officers from West Yorkshire Police deployed to the area to facilitate a peaceful protest and to provide public reassurance. "Police empathise with the heightened tensions and engaged with protestors to appeal for calm. They are continuing working with members of the community, partners and local officers to maintain community cohesion and police relations. "Crowds are starting to disperse and traffic is now passing with minimal disruption. There was minimal disorder, which quickly de-escalated after dialogue with officers at the scene and there was no necessity to make any arrests. "Officers will remain in the area to provide a visible presence and to offer reassurance to members of the public." An IPCC spokesperson added: "After being notified by West Yorkshire Police, IPCC investigators went to the scene yesterday evening and attended police post incident procedures, and have been overseeing forensic
examinations. "Yassar Yaqub, aged 28 from Crosland Moor, was shot by a West Yorkshire Police firearms officer during a planned police operation at Junction 24 of the M62 motorway shortly      after 6pm on Monday 2 January. He died at the scene. "What appears to be a non-police issue firearm was discovered in the vehicle in which Mr Yaqub was travelling, and is being further examined. Mr Yaqub's family has been informed and will be kept updated by an IPCC family liaison manager. "IPCC investigators are continuing to seek any relevant CCTV footage. Initial accounts from police officers involved have been obtained."

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