Bike crash victims were ‘chased to their death by South Wales Police’, aunt says
The aunt of one of the teenage boys who died in a road traffic accident on an electric bike in Cardiff has accused South Wales Police of causing their deaths.
Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, died on Monday night, shortly after they were captured on CCTV being followed by a police van.
Speaking to the BBC after a vigil for the pair, Harvey’s aunt Hayley Murphy said “they were two children who were chased to their death by South Wales Police”.
Ms Murphy further alleged police had arrested her nephew 30 times over the past two years but never charged him.
In two separate instances, she said police had visited Harvey’s home over matters he could not have had anything to do with.
On the first occasion, the family had doorbell video footage showing he was home at the time; the second time he was on holiday so “wasn’t even in the country”.
On Monday night, Ms Murphy said Harvey had been giving his best friend a lift home on the bike that had been an early 16th birthday present when they encountered police.
“Harvey had only just had this bike and didn’t want to lose it. He turned back and the police gave chase,” she alleged.
She said she had waited at the police barrier with her sister, Harvey’s mother, for more than two hours that night “begging them to tell us if they were alive or dead, and they wouldn’t tell us nothing”.
Ms Murphy added that police officers “came to the house around four hours after it happened, about four hours in total, and they said ‘there have been two fatalities but we cannot confirm who they are’.”
“We knew it was Harvey, but we didn’t get told until the family liaison officer came at around two o’clock the following day,” she said.
“How can you treat a family of a young boy like that?”
The family claimed they had no support for 17 hours – which they blamed on the riots which broke out after the boys’ deaths.
Harvey’s grandmother Dawn Rees said: “This is what we couldn’t cope with because they were lying on the floor.
“It was all down to the riots. We had no support for 17 hours and it was because of the riots.”
South Wales Police told the BBC in a statement they “cannot comment any further” due to the ongoing investigation by the force and Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
A spokesperson for the Welsh Ambulance Service said their involvement at the scene concluded before 8pm.
Violent clashes and disorder broke out in Ely on Monday night after CCTV footage emerged of a marked South Wales Police van following the teenagers as they rode the Sur-Ron electric bike.
The rioting saw nine people arrested and left 15 police officers injured.
The claims of a pursuit were denied by Alun Michael, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, but the force has since confirmed a van was following Kyrees and Harvey.
The IOPC has launched an investigation into the circumstances.
Around a thousand people attended a vigil for Harvey and Kyrees on Friday night, releasing balloons, fireworks and flares in memory of the boys.
Since Monday, hundreds of floral tributes and messages have been left at the scene of the accident in Snowden Road.
Earlier, the IOPC appealed for witnesses who may have seen the moments before the crash.
It said the investigation was examining the “nature of the police interaction” with Kyrees and Harvey and the “appropriateness” of the officers’ decisions and actions.
The watchdog is also considering whether the police officers’ actions in the van constituted a pursuit, and whether the interaction between the officers and the boys was “reported appropriately by the officers prior to and following the collision”.
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