The mysterious death of Yassar Yaqub
Yassar Yaqub, 28, is dead. Police shot him through the windscreen of his car as he drove along a slip road by the M62 in Huddersfield. Armed police were responding to a tip-off that a “criminal was in possession of a firearm”. The Mail says a firearm was found in his car. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) says what appeared to be a “non-police issue firearm” was discovered in the vehicle in which Mr Yaqub was travelling.
The Mail shows a picture of Yaqub posing with a vulgar yellow Lambourghini, a car it values at £400,000 – “three times the price of his £136,000 Huddersfield home.” Yaqub was in a white Audi when he was shot dead. Is the Italian supercar car his? The Star is unsure, but values the Lamboughini Aventador at £260,000. The Sun says he “cruised the streets in a £260,000 gold Lambourghini”.
The Mirror says Yaqub was ‘a major drug baron, according to a man targeted by the “heroin and crack dealer”’. We also learn that on an online dating site he went by the name “Stud Badboy”. It’s from that profile the photo of the car comes.
The father-of-two’s account stated that he had no children and included topless selfies and a photo of himself in front of a bright yellow Lamborghini sports car worth more than £250,000.
As men looking for love and casual sex off the clock head down to the car dealership for a picture with the kind of motor an adolescent Saudi princeling thinks a tad gauche, the Mirror captions a picture of Yaqub in a vest: “The 28-year-old appeared to have a taste for the finer things in life.”
So much for the world of a twenty-something living in Huddersfield. But what of his death? What happened?
Officers were investigating a tip-off relating to the criminal possession of a firearm when they boxed in Yaqub’s car at Junction 24 of the M62 in Huddersfield. What happened next during the ‘pre-planned’ police operation remains unclear.
Many people would like to know what happened. Yassar Yaqub’s parents Mohammed and Sofia “clutched balloons and sobbed last night as they joined more than 100 mourners on the M62 sliproad where he died during Monday’s rush hour,” writes the Mail.
We hear from the distraught father:
“If it were a fight you could understand it but [it was] just bang, finished – that’s what’s killing me. Looking at the photographs, someone just running up and shooting at him in the dark. How can you justify it? It is just impossible. He was driving down, he was cornered. Bearing in mind it was dark, how could you have seen what he was doing? It is not right that the police weren’t wearing body cameras. Of course I want answers for what has happened. I will go privately if I have to. In the end I need to find out. My lad didn’t deserve this – I thought this is something that happens in America but not here.”
The Telegraph surveys the crowd:
Many wore jumpers bearing the messages: “No chance to surrender, No warning shots, Unlawful killing #justiceforyassar” and “No justice, No humanity, No peace #justiceforyassar”. Others wore T-shirts with a photo of Mr Yaqub printed on it.
A handwritten banner, which was taped to the signpost along with flowers and one of the jumpers, read: “Stop police assassinations.”
The Times sees more protest:
Yaqub’s family and campaign groups have criticised the force. Some protesters likened his death to that of Mark Duggan, 29, whose shooting by police in 2011 led to rioting across England. About 100 demonstrators, some in masks, took to the streets of Bradford on Tuesday night.
Why no body cameras on police? Andy Battle, an assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire police, says:
“Uniformed officers in three of the five districts of West Yorkshire are now equipped with body-worn video cameras, as a force-wide roll-out of the devices continues. Firearms officers do not currently use them, however. We are seeking a separate solution to meet the specific and specialised requirements of their role.”
The Sun says the “GUN COP” was “DOING HIS JOB”. Met Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh says the copper was ding “an honest day’s work”.
The Sun has more on the police action:
West Yorkshire Police penned him into the sliproad of the M62 at Junction 24 as he was driving in a fleet of luxury cars at around 6pm on Monday January 1.
Can one man drive a fleet of cars?
[He was] cleared of attempted murder in relation to an alleged drive-by shooting in 2009, when he was just 21. He was also reportedly shot in a “turf war” just meters behind his home in Huddersfield, West Yorks., in June 2015, which is now covered with up to 10 CCTV cameras.
Former associate Chris Bean, 26, told The Sun he was a “heroin and crack dealer” and was lucky not to be killed in the incident.
Mr Bean said Yassar would buy luxury cars with his drug money after raking in profits by using drones to send Class A drugs into HMP Armley in Leeds, West Yorks. He also claimed Yassar fired a gun at him in the street.
“He managed to afford his Lambo [Lamborghini] by laundering money – he was such a flashy g*t,” said Mr Bean. “Yassar used to buy high powered sports cars and sell them on for profit – all funded by drug money. He had it [West Yorkshire] all locked down and would fly drugs into HMP Leeds at Armley with drones and make 10 times what he was making on the outside.
“Everyone knows stuff about Yassar – but are just too damn scared to say anything bad because they still live there.”
Over on the BBC, we hear more from Yaqub’s father:
“He hasn’t got a bad past, because he’s never been convicted of anything. He’s never had a charge of him at all. We had a car business, by the way, so all sorts of cars come and go.”
Such are the facts.