Socialist Worker

‘I can’t breathe’—cop tells of Kingsley Burrell’s plea

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2451

The inquest into the death of Kingsley Burrell heard how he was strapped on a trolley, handcuffed and in leg restraints for two hours.

Kingsley died in 2011 four days after calling 999 to report being harassed.

Police took him into custody and he was detained in a mental health unit then taken to the hospital where he died. PC Mark Shorthouse testified that a paramedic put a blanket over Kingsley’s face to act as a spit mask.

Shorthouse alleged Kingsley said, “I can’t breathe,” but the paramedic replied, “You can because you’re talking.”

He said the blanket was draped, not wrapped, around Kingsley’s head. 

Asked if anyone challenged the decision to use the blanket as spit mask, Shorthouse said no.

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Article information

Tue 28 Apr 2015, 15:56 BST
Issue No. 2451
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