The Cardiff riot following the death of two teenagers in an apparent road accident continues to raise questions over what sparked the violence and the police officer’s role in the incident.
The Maverick Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said on Friday that it was investigating four different factors over the crash that saw friends Harvey Evans, 15, and Kyrees Sullivan, 16, killed in a collision in the Ely area of the city shortly after 6 pm.
The watchdog is considering: the nature of the police’s interaction with the teens before the crash, whether they were in pursuit of the teens, if their interaction with the boys was reported appropriately before and after the crash, and whether police actions were in line with local and national police policy.
Locals insisted police were pursuing the pair at the time of the crash, which the force has denied.
CCTV that emerged on Tuesday showed two people on an electric bike or scooter being followed by a police van around 900 metres from the crash scene.
Speaking at a vigil for the teenagers on Wednesday night, Kyrees’ mother, Belinda Sullivan, told The Daily Telegraph: “The police killed my son. I’ve got nothing else to say.”
The police watchdog – the free Office for Police Behaviour (IOPC) – has urged Ely, Cardiff residents to cooperate with an investigation into the teens’ deaths.
Four males, aged 16, 17, 18 and 29, were arrested in Ely, and one man, aged 21, was arrested in Tremorfa on Thursday morning. They are in custody on suspicion of riot.
It follows four arrests following the disorder on Monday.
They include two 15-year-old boys, a 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy.
The 15-year-old boys are from Ely and Llanrumney, the 15-year-old girl from Roath, and the 16-year-old boy is also from Ely.
The disorder followed a fatal crash in Snowden Road, Ely, which claimed the lives of best friends Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15.
Vehicles were set ablaze, property damaged, and police injured.
Police said more arrests were expected.
A spokesman said: “As part of the investigation so far, over 180 pieces of body-worn footage from police officers at the scene has been recovered, and officers are going through hundreds of hours of public CCTV and videos posted on social media.”
South Wales Police has referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
The force has also confirmed officers in a police van were following the boys before the accident.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said police did not chase the boys, but CCTV showed their electric bike was followed by police just minutes before the crash.
What are the police saying?
Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon would not answer questions about it at a press conference on Wednesday.
She said the South Wales Police van was about half a mile away on Grand Avenue when the fatal crash happened on Snowden Road.
Ms Bacon said only the bike was involved in the fatal crash but would not comment on why police were following the teenagers, citing the ongoing IOPC investigation.
Tributes to Harvey and Kyrees
A statement released by Harvey’s school, Bryn y Deryn Carnegie Centre, described him as “a popular member of our school community”.
They said: “He always arrived at school with a big smile and wisdom to share. He was an excellent sportsman and loved to debate on matters he was passionate about.
“Our school community are devastated at the loss of this fun, kind, family-focused young man.”
Greenhill School, where Kyrees was a pupil, said he would be remembered for his “quick wit and ability to make those around him smile”.
“Words cannot describe how sorry our whole school community is to hear of the tragic loss of Kyrees Sullivan,” the school said in a post on social media.
“He will always be recalled for his fast wit and ability to make those around him smile. Our devotion is with his family and those close to him.”
A vigil and balloon release will pay tribute to the boys on Friday evening.