Cardiff riots: A 'strong feeling of anger at the police' remains in community after Ely crash

Members of a community in Cardiff say there is still a 'strong feeling of anger at the police' following an eruption of violence after the deaths of two local teenagers.

Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and 15-year-old Harvey Evans were killed in Ely on Monday evening (May 22) while riding an electric bike.

CCTV footage time-stamped to 5.59pm appeared to show a police van following two people on a bike.

ITV News understands it is that video which caused tensions to rise following the crash and sparked the unrest.

Tributes have been left in Ely to Kyrees Sullivan and Harvey Evans

A post on Facebook announced a vigil and balloon release would take place at 6pm Friday on Snowden Road where the crash happened.

The post asked those attending to bring blue balloons.

Members of the community continue to gather at the scene and say there is still a strong feeling of anger at the police among those who knew the teenagers and their families.

One young man at the scene who came to pay his respects said: “They (the police) are trying to hide what really happened. The video is as clear as day.”

A woman at the tributes, who did not give her name, told journalists that “young people are always targeted by police around here.”

Talking about the riots, she said: “It is because of how they treated the mother and father to these boys.

“It weren’t until we spoke and actually started raising our voices a little bit that they let them through. And then we all went back. We all stepped back as a community because we’d done what we need to get the parents up there. But no, they wanted to treat us like hooligans and put rings around us.”

A family friend of the parents of Kyrees and Harvey said they had been to see them at hospital and had been kept updated by South Wales Police.

Community members and young people continue to gather at the scene.

“I’m OK in myself, I’m just absolutely devastated and heartbroken for my friends. My heart is hurting,” they said.

“That’s the little boy I used to babysit and push around in a pram. It is so, so sad. They both went to see their boys yesterday and they are both very numb and haven’t gone much to say at the moment.”

The friend said the video circulated on social media supported claims a marked police van was following the teenagers in the Ely area of Cardiff.

They believed the boys had got away from the police by riding up Stanwey Road, which is blocked off to traffic at one end, and had then ridden onto the adjacent Snowden Road where the crash occurred.

South Wales Police have said they are investigating claims of a pursuit but said the collision had already happened when the first officers arrived on the scene.

“The reason why the police wasn’t on the scene is because the boys have gone through a blocked street and the police knew they couldn’t go that way so they have turned onto Grand Avenue, which led the boys to cut through onto Stanway Road onto Snowden Road,” they said.

“The police have already stated they were on Grand Avenue and they were not on the scene. They weren’t on the scene because they lost them.”

The police watchdog (IOPC) is launching an investigation which will probe “any interaction” between South Wales Police officers and two teenage boys.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said in a statement: “Following a referral from South Wales Police we have decided to independently investigate an incident in Ely, Cardiff, on Monday which resulted in the deaths of two teenagers.

“Our decision to investigate follows our attendance at the police post incident procedure and after a review of the information received to date.

“We will be examining any interaction between the police and the boys after CCTV footage emerged apparently showing a police vehicle following a bike prior to the incident.”