Socialist Worker

Senior cop speaks at Edson Da Costa inquest

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2655

Edir Da Costa, known as Edson, died after police stopped his car

Edir Da Costa, known as Edson, died after police stopped his car


A senior police officer has said he was hindered from giving first aid to Edson Da Costa because he was under “threat”, a court has heard.

Edson died in June 2017 after being stopped by police on the Woodcocks estate in Beckton, east London.

He was pinned to the ground by four officers during the stop.

The inquest into his death at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard that people from the estate came out during Edson’s restraint.

In footage shown to the jury a senior officer, known as G15, was shouting, “Get back” to onlookers.

G15 told the court on Wednesday of last week that some onlookers “were not helping” and were a “threat to me and my colleagues”.

Starting

G15 said, “There was no point starting treatment if there’s a threat to yourself. You would not be able to administer effective first aid.”

John Beggs QC, representing the Metropolitan Police, said some onlookers were shouting and swearing at officers. He said, “At most stages it’s fair to say it was traumatic for the officers.”

Footage from officers’ body worn camera was shown to the court. One officer, G21, can be heard saying, “We’re trained to deal with it, you’re not,” and, “He’s going to be alright.”

G15 could be heard saying, “Call the ambulance.”

G15 said he thought Edson had ingested wraps of drugs to try and hide them, and so needed medical attention.

The court also heard an emergency call made by officer G30. He said Edson was “currently breathing” but said he wasn’t sure whether Edson was faking being unconscious.

G15 had previously denied trying to distance himself from the use of CS gas on Edson.

He told the court he was not aware that a colleague had sprayed Edson in the face with the gas.

Distance

He said there would be “no reason” to distance himself from the decision to use the gas.

The jury heard that G15 didn’t ask Edson if he could breathe during the restraint.

“To be able to ask an extremely violent male during the course of restraint a question such as that is not easy,” G15 said.

“I wasn’t under the impression Mr Da Costa was choking.”

The inquest continues


Grenfell fire Inquiry report is delayed

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has delayed its initial report until later this year.

In a letter to participants, lawyer for the inquiry Caroline Featherstone wrote the report was “far more complex and time-consuming” than the inquiry had thought it would be.

The report had been expected before the second anniversary of the fire next month.

Now it will not be published before October and the second phase of the inquiry is set to start at the beginning of 2020.

Natasha Elcock from the Grenfell United campaign said the decision “shows how they continue to disregard survivors and bereaved through this process”.

Join the protest on 15 June to demand justice.

Alistair Farrow


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