Socialist Worker

Family of Kevin Clarke call for truth about his death

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2598

Kevin’s family outside the court last week

Kevin’s family outside the court last week (Pic: Socialist Worker)


The initial hearing of the inquest into the death of Kevin Clarke, known as KC, began last Wednesday.

A coroner said it may take months to establish the cause of death.

Kevin died after coming into contact with the police on 9 March in Lewisham, south east London.

In a statement, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the police’s pet watchdog, said that Kevin was restrained by cops. The police said that they observed him experiencing what they believed to be a mental health crisis.

The IOPC is examining footage from body cameras worn by some of the police officers who attended the scene.

Serious questions remain around the events that led to his death.

Witness

Police claim Kevin died at Lewisham hospital. But immediately after the event a witness told Socialist Worker he believed Kevin died at the scene. The witness also questioned why Kevin had to be restrained. They did not believe Kevin was posing a threat to anyone.

When Socialist Worker attended the scene on Monday 12 March there was no police cordon where the event took place.

Kevin’s family and friends attended the opening of the inquest into his death last Wednesday.

Afterwards his sister Tellecia read from a statement from the family. “Kevin was well-known and loved in our community and we will truly miss him,” she said.

“He was a father figure and a role model to so many, even when he was going through his difficult times.

“He was also a gifted footballer, who would coach young people and dreamt about pursuing this. Unfortunately his dream was cut short.”

At the time of his death Kevin was living in sheltered residential accommodation.

“We do not know exactly what happened or the circumstances which led to Kevin’s untimely death,” Tellecia said.

“We are left with so many questions and hope that the IOPC will swiftly complete their investigations into Kevin’s death and that those officers involved will offer their full cooperation.”

No date has been set for the beginning of the full inquest.

The pressure needs to kept on the police through a united campaign led by Kevin’s family.

Another death in South London

An investigation has begun following the death of a man the day after he was arrested by police. According to the IOPC, the 26-year-old was detained shortly before 11.30am on Friday 30 March in Southwark and taken to Walworth Custody Suite. An ambulance was called a short time later, "as officers believed he may have swallowed something".

 "He was taken to hospital where his condition deteriorated. He died the following morning - Saturday 31 March."


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