Death of black teenager detained by police sparks Black Lives Matter protests in UK cities

Mzee Mohammed died after being restrained by Merseyside officers in a Liverpool shopping centre

May Bulman
Monday 18 July 2016 15:59 BST
Death of black teenager sparks protests in Liverpool

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Protests have taken place in Liverpool and London after a black teenager died while being detained by Merseyside police.

Demonstrations have been held in the two cities after the death of Mzee Mohammed, 18, who died on Wednesday 13 July after reports he was behaving in an "aggressive and erratic" manner and carrying a knife in Liverpool One shopping centre.

Mohammed became unwell while officers and security guards restrained him in the shopping centre.

Video footage shows Mohammed lying face down and barefoot surrounded by paramedics and police officers wearing blue plastic gloves.

He is motionless, apparently unconscious, and appears to have his hands cuffed behind his back while being treated by paramedics.

Mohammed later died in hospital.

Around 300 people participated in a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the centre of Liverpool, which was dominated by chants of "Justice for Mzee".

During the march Mohammed's mother Karla made a public speech at Lime Street station. She said: “I want to ask the Lord to see justice for my son.

“I will not rest, I will walk in my son’s shoes until I get answers, and anyone who had a hand in my boy’s death will be brought to justice.

“My son will not be a number or a statistic. His death will not be in vain.”

Another demonstration was held in London the following day. Main roads in the centre of the capital were shut down as people marched the streets demanding answers over the death of the teenager.

Following Mohammed's death, Black Lives Matter sent a statement of solidarity to activists in the UK.

It read: "We send you solidarity, as we see Mzee Mohammed. We see Sarah Reed. We see Jermaine Baker, the 1,558 people killed by police in the UK and your struggle to gain justice for them.

"When you lose your family, know that we see that loss and we feel it too. We are ALL family."

In light of Mohammed's death David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, tweeted: "Thinking of friends and loved ones in Liverpool marching for Mzee Mohammed. We badly need answers."

Mohammed's family have said they want to know exactly what happened.

In a statement they wrote: "All of us in Mzee’s family including his Mum, Dad brothers, sisters and extended family are devastated by Mzee’s tragic death.

"He was more to us than a son, brother and nephew. He was our friend."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has begun an investigation into the death of a teenager and are appealing for witnesses.

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