Police Chief: Victim's Dad Helped Calm Riots

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The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Chris Sims, has praised the father of one of the men allegedly murdered while trying to protect people from looters.

Mr Sims said he thinks words spoken by Mr Jahan on Wednesday helped to calm rising racial tensions in the city.

Tariq Jahan urged those involved in violence to "calm down" after his son and his two friends were murdered .

Haroon Jahan, 21, died alongside brothers Shazad Ali, 30 and Adbul Musavir, 31.

They were hit by a car on Dudley Road in the Winson Green area of Birmingham in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The men were killed in the same area that suffered riots involving clashes between groups of Asian and black youths in 2005.

"Today we stand here to plead with all the youth to remain calm (and) for our communities to stand united. This is not a race issue," Mr Jahan said on Wednesday.

"Blacks, Asians, whites - we all live in the same community. Why do we have to kill each other?

"I lost my son. Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home."

"The intervention he felt able to make was one of the most powerful, generous and far-sighted that I think I have ever seen, at the moment of absolute grief and devastation," Mr Sims said.

"Anyone who heard them must have been moved.

"Anyone who felt there was any mileage from continuing a cycle of violence in the name of those young men who died must have thought twice about it.

"I think it was decisive in terms of Birmingham not suffering tension and violence between communities.

"Those words were powerful, heartfelt and spontaneous."

Mr Sims said there was still a lot of work to be done, but that communities could "build on the foundations" of Mr Jahan's words.

"They will only take root if people use them as the starting point and work to break down any sense of community tension," he added.

Today, Mr Jahan said to those involved in the violence: "You are not achieving anything.

"People are losing their livelihoods, their homes. I have lost my family.

"To parents - I say if you value your children, keep them at home.

"To the kids - if you are listening to a grey-bearded old fellow you have no respect for, then try to understand. When you are my age, you will look back at your lives and think how stupid you were."

Three people have now been arrested in connection with the incident.

They are two youths aged 16 and 17 and a man aged 26, all from Birmingham. A 32-year-old man who was arrested following the incident has been released on bail, while inquiries continue.

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