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English city stages peace rally to recall 3 men killed in riots

Several hundred Birmingham residents rallied for peace and racial unity Sunday in memory of three Pakistani men run over and killed during last week's riots across England.

Police in Birmingham charged a third suspect Sunday with the murders of Haroon Jahan, 20, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31.

The three men died Wednesday after a car struck them at high speed as they stood guard outside a row of South Asian-owned shops in west Birmingham, England's second-largest city 120 miles northwest of London. The attack raised fears of gang warfare between the area's South Asian and Caribbean gangs because residents identified the car-borne assailants as black. But public appeals for no retaliation, particularly from one victim's father, Tariq Jahan, have helped to keep passions at bay.

Police said Adam King, 23, would be arraigned today at Birmingham Magistrates Court on three counts of murder. Two others -- 26-year-old Joshua Donald and a 17-year-old whose name was withheld because of his age -- were arraigned Sunday on the same charges.

Speaking at Sunday's rally in a public park near the scene of the killings, Jahan told the crowd "that the three boys did not die in vain. They died for this community." He and several other speakers stood beneath a banner that read "One City, One Voice for Peace."

Five people died during four days of gang-fueled rioting that struck London on Aug. 6 and spread to several other English cities. Police were criticized for responding too slowly, particularly in London, but eventually deployed huge numbers of officers at all riot zones to quell the mayhem.

Prime Minister David Cameron has recruited veteran U.S. police commander William Bratton to advise him on how to combat gangs and prevent a repeat of the past week's riots.

Cameron criticized British police tactics as too timid and announced he would seek policy guidance from Bratton, former commander of police forces in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. British police have branded the move misguided and an insult to their professionalism.

"I am not sure I want to learn about gangs from an area of America that has 400 of them," Sir Hugh Orde, leader of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said of Los Angeles, which the 63-year-old Bratton oversaw until 2009.

"It seems to me, if you've got 400 gangs, then you're not being very effective," said Orde, a former commander of Northern Ireland's police and deputy commander of London's Metropolitan Police. Orde made his comments to the Independent on Sunday newspaper.

British police are still questioning two men over the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man during riots in Croydon, south London. And police said Sunday night they arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of fatally beating a 68-year-old man who had tried to put out a fire set by rioters in Ealing, west London.

Britain's Justice Ministry says more than 1,200 people have been charged so far with riot-related offenses. Several courts heard cases Sunday for the first time in modern history to try to reduce the backlog of cases. Two judges also worked full time Sunday in authorizing search warrants for police raiding homes of suspected rioters in a hunt to reclaim stolen goods.

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