South Wales Police and the Crime Commissioner have admitted that officers may have followed two teenagers shortly before they were killed in a road accident, sparking riots in Cardiff.
But Elon Michael said on Wednesday that there were no police cars on the road where the fatal crash occurred and refused to say he was wrong, initially claiming there was no pursuit.
On Tuesday morning, Michael claimed the riots in the Ely area of the Welsh capital followed false rumors spread on social media that Keris Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, were killed as police pursued the e-bike they were on. .
But later that day, CCTV footage emerged showing a police car following two children on an e-bike just minutes before the accident occurred about half a mile away, prompting South Wales Police to refer themselves to the police watchdog.
Asked if he should have waited before making what appeared to be a definitive statement about what led to the riots, Michael replied: “I was reassured and remain certain that the police were not chasing the young men at the time of the traffic accident.
“The impression given is that the young men were being chased by the police and an accident occurred immediately one to the other. I am still certain that this is not what happened.”
Asked if there could have been a police chase a few minutes earlier, he said: “That leaves open the possibility. I made sure there was no police chase. There were no police chasing individuals at the time of the accident. Maybe there was something going on earlier on.” Of course it is something that needs to be fully investigated. If there is a possibility, then this possibility needs to be fully investigated.”
He told Radio Wales: “Footage has come out of something that happened shortly before there was a traffic accident that should also be investigated. It was not available to me or the police at the time we responded to the first thing that happened.”
Michael admitted that restoring trust and rebuilding trust between the police and the community will take time.
The killing of the youths led to a night of violent unrest during which 15 police officers were injured. People involved in the riot said they had gathered to pay their respects to the dead boys when clashes with officers broke out.
Harvey’s godmother, Bridie Paul, said on Wednesday: “Two beautiful boys lost their lives. So many people loved them. They grew up together since they were babies, they ate, slept and breathed together. They say we’re a disadvantaged community but we have the same blood running through our veins. We stick together.” some.”
One theory, said a family friend, is that the boys were chased by police and escaped by riding through the posts blocking Stanway Road from Snowden Road, where the accident occurred.
She said: “The reason the police weren’t on the scene is because the boys have gone through a closed street and the police know they can’t walk that way. They weren’t at the scene because they lost them.”
The bike would have spun through a pedestrian access point next to the pillars, then driven down a short stretch of hill to Snowden Road. The bike hit a lamppost about 100 meters from the poles.
The police did not give details of the route the boys took.
That morning the boys’ friends took turns keeping a vigil at the place where he had left the tribute. Most of them continued to sneer at the account given by the police.
One of the young men who came to pay their respects said: “Hmm [the police] They try to hide what really happened. The video is as clear as day.
“Young people are always targeted by the police here,” said a woman at the honoring ceremony, who did not give her name. Talking about the riot, she said that it happened because the police did not allow family members to come close to the place where the couple died.
“It wasn’t until we spoke up and really started raising our voices a little bit that they let them pass. Then we all came back. We all fell back as a society because we did what we needed to do to get the parents out there. But no, they wanted to treat us like hooligans and put rings around us.”
Another said: “The feds tell the pig pies. They treat us differently because we live in Ely.”
One of the messages about the floral tribute read, “I love you both like family” and reminded us of “the first time we played motorcycles.”
There were fears of further unrest on Tuesday night, but the streets remained calm.