Remembering Harvey Evans and Kyrees Sullivan in Ely, South Wales on Wednesday

On Snowden Road in Ely, Cardiff, Kyrees Sullivan, 16 and Harvey Evans, 15, died after being chased by the police. But in the days following this tragic incident, it wasn’t the cops under the most scrutiny by the state— it was the residents. 

Plain clothes police officers knocked on doors, and the tame Independent Office for Police Conduct prowled the street. 

Local people gathered by the huge memorial united in mourning but still forced to keep a close eye on the police as they did.  

And they were right to be wary. For the residents of Ely, police intimidation is a daily reality that goes hand in hand with poverty and deprivation. 

“Everyone looks down on Ely,” ­bricklayer Jordan, who lives and works in the area, told Socialist Worker. “It’s a quiet place, but the police are heavy handed.” 

Jordan said that he knew one of those that died and explained, “The police always harass us—it’s just sad, I lost a mate. Now the police are back in the area—it’s disrespectful if you ask me.” 

On Monday of last week, local, ­primarily young, people took to the streets to express their anger. But as Jordan said, as far as he’s aware, the police escalated the situation into a riot. 

“They charged at people,” he said. “My mate was hit on the back of the head… It was brutal. 

“The police don’t like us, especially if you’re young. Some of the riot vans came from England,” he added. 

Police brutality makes Ely difficult to grow up, but problems extend much ­further, explained Jordan. 

He said that many of his friends are unemployed, and there is little to do in the area. 

Football pitches are overgrown and go unmanaged by the council, and youth services are stretched thin. Even Cardiff’s city centre is out of reach for many as it’s too far and too expensive to travel to. 

One of the only sources of fun for local children is riding bikes and e-scooters. 

And life in Ely is only getting harder, Jordan explained.  Growing up here is rough. The police drove up and down the streets every five minutes,” he said. “They’re dominant. They speed right up to us if they want to speak to us. 

A young boy, visiting the memorial with his friends, told Socialist Worker the police involved “should lose their jobs.” 

And added, “My brother has been arrested, I know four people who have been arrested, I think.”

“Police harassment in Ely and ­surrounding areas has reached a new high,” said a local trades worker. 

“When I was younger the police used to chase us when we rode our bikes across the fields—but they’d stop eventually. Recently they’ve turned it up a gear, and two boys are dead—it’s unfortunate.” 

Many people came to lay flowers at the memorial throughout Wednesday. Groups of neighbours gathered in nearby front gardens, offering support to those grieving. 

“The whole area is upset,” said a local ­pensioner. “I still can’t get my head around what’s happened. I am always thinking about it. It will be hard for people to recover” Jordan added. 

A force with a bloody record 

South Wales Police has a horrific record of brutality. In January 2021, having been beaten while in police custody, Mohamud Mohammed Hassan died in his house later that day. 

He was in contact with 52 police officers in the hours before his death. 

And in February, 2021, Moyied Bashir died after police entered his home. 

Cops restrained him while waiting for an ambulance—his medical condition deteriorated. 

Police tried to stop Black Lives Matter protests that followed these deaths. They tried to fine protest organiser Bianca Ali over £2,000 for breaching Covid lockdown rules. 

Violence and lies go with the job 

Despite CCTV footage showing the two boys being followed by a police van, South Wales Police initially lied, saying there was no chase. 

The South Wales police and crime commissioner, and former Welsh Labour leader, Alun Michael, claimed false rumours sparked the riots. 

He said, “I think it illustrates the speed with which rumours can run around with the activity that goes on on social media nowadays and that events can get out of hand.” 

The cops’ lies were exposed, forcing chief superintendent Martyn Stone of South Wales police to say, “We’ve received CCTV footage that shows a police vehicle following a bike just prior to 6 pm. 

“South Wales Police has also made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to ensure the matter receives independent scrutiny.” 

But justice for the two boys and their families won’t be served by the ever-loyal IOPC. 

Some 455 people have died due to police pursuits in England and Wales since 1990. And 154 have died in police-related road traffic incidents, according to the charity Inquest. 

These latest deaths are another chapter in a long history of police violence against ordinary people. 

It’s their job to protect the infrastructure, bosses and chains of capitalism. 

Those who resist are beaten into submission. 

Police keep working class people in line by intimidating patrols, stop searches, pursuits and more. 

But as the riots of local residents in Ely showed, explosions of anger against the cops can spark at any time. 


Monday 22 May 

5.59pm CCTV footage shows the boys on an electric bike riding toward a police van. The bike then turns around 

6pm Different CCTV footage shows the boys being followed very closely by a police van. Other footage confirms this. 

6.02pm The two boys die on Snowden Road as the police van is on Grand Avenue, half a mile away 

9pm People gather near the crash site. A heavy riot police presence meets them 

Tuesday 23 May 

2.40am The boy’s bodies are removed from the street 

3am Riot police disperse the protesters 

Morning Alun Michael, police and crime commissioner for South Wales, denies to the media that there was a police chase 

5pm South Wales Police admit they were following the boys before the crash 

Wednesday 24 May 

The mother of Kyrees Sulivan tells The Daily Telegraph, “The police killed my son.” 

‘The police divided our community without consent’ 

John Urquhart is an Ely resident whose tweets and media appearances have cut through the lies from the police and the authorities. 

They spoke to Socialist Worker about what happened and how it is part of a bigger picture about the treatment of the Ely area. 

“It’s completely understandable what has happened. If they killed your kids and then told everyone that they didn’t—would you not be furious? 

“It’s very simple how the riot began last Monday night,” says John. It happened because the police’s first reaction was to divide people, to set up a cordon at the junction of Jackson Road and Wilson Road. 

“They divided a community by force, without consent, just as that community began to grieve. 

“The vast majority of people were just watching and having that normal camaraderie in the street that you have when something is happening in your street, and you have no control over it. 

“People resented the way they were kept apart and couldn’t find out what had happened. That’s why what could have been a moment of sorrow as well as anger became one of active anger against the police.” 

John says that people knew the cops had lied when they said there was no police chase of the two teenagers who died. 

“They knew it because they had seen it, or their family or friends had seen it. And people are not going to listen to police commissioner Alun Michael or the police instead of those around them who they trust.” 

John says the police are still not telling the whole truth about what happened. “You don’t have to say that the police actually crashed into the e-bike that Kyrees Sullivan and Harvey Evans were on. That’s not the point. 

“They were travelling very close behind those kids, and those kids would have been terrified, scared of how they would be treated by the police. 

“If terrified people lose control of their bike, the police are still responsible even if they weren’t directly involved in the fatal crash.” 

John adds that Ely has faced isolation, alienation and segregation for a long time. “It’s an area where Asian people, people of black Caribbean heritage and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people were pushed into by housing segregation policy. 

“The area has been saddled with a bad reputation,” says John. “If you fill in a job application you say you live in neighbouring areas such as Caerau or Wenvoe. 

“And the police reflect that sense they are dealing with people who are likely to be criminal. 

“it’s seen as suspicious if people gather in the front gardens or on the streets and have a drink. 

“It was the same in some other areas of Cardiff where there was immigration and working class communities such as Cardiff’s Tiger Bay. 

“We never see a roadsweeper in our area. The first time I saw one was when they were clearing up after the riot. That tells you about how we are ignored and seen as separate. 

“Now the demonisation of the area will be worse” they added. 

“There are some basic demands that are important. We need community defence. That starts with simple things like handing out bust cards so that people know their rights. 

“And then if there is going to be a repeat of the police actions then we need to have a collective and organised response, one that comes from people sharing information and ideas themselves. 

“It is not yet clear whether Alun Michael is simply incompetent or whether he has lied brazenly and repeatedly. But he should go in either case. 

“The disrespect shown to the immediate community in Ely and the refusal to share information except when forced to do so highlights Alun Michael’s basic inability to do his job. 

“Harmony Party Wales has made clear that if we had existed at the time we would absolutely have been calling for Alun Michael’s resignation ever since both Mohamud Mohammed Hassan’s killing at the hands of South Wales Police and later for failing to acknowledge the disgusting prejudices that resulted in the failure of police to search for the victims of the A48 crash in April that killed Darcy Ross, Eve Smith and Rafel Jeanne, and badly injured Sophie Russon and Shane Loughlin. 

“The South Wales Police are guilty, but it’s not just that one force, all the police are similar. They exist to protect private property. They don’t exist to defend a community or its people.” 

Sign the petition demanding Alun Michael’s resignation at 
John Urquhart tweets at They are the founder and general secretary of Harmony Party UK 

Original post


We’d love to keep you updated with the latest news 😎

We don’t spam!

Leave a Reply

We use cookies

Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies.

Thank you for your Subscription

Subscribe to our Newsletter