Edson Da Costa’s family last week slammed an inquest conclusion that he died by “misadventure”.
Edir, who was known as Edson, was 25 when he died just days after being stopped by police in Beckton, east London, in June 2017.
Edson’s father Ginario said, “It is hugely upsetting to us that officers did not identify the risk that he might be choking.”
The inquest jury said that Edson “died from the consequences of cardiorespiratory arrest” after he put a plastic bag containing drugs in his mouth. The inquest had heard that Edson was restrained on the ground by four officers and sprayed in the face with CS gas. He was hit by two “distraction blows” and became unresponsive during the restraint.
Medical help was delayed after paramedics were given the wrong address by a Metropolitan Police Service call handler.
Deborah Coles from the Inquest charity said Edson was one of five young black men who died after police restraint within a six-month period. “Officers failed to recognise that he was choking,” she said. “A hostile environment was created at this inquest through police lawyers, who sought to divert attention away from the circumstances that resulted in Edir’s death.”
Ginario said, “We cannot help but wonder whether Edir would still be here had the police identified the risk of choking earlier and taken steps to help him.
“Edir did not deserve to die in the way that he did and we will forever feel that if things had been done differently his life may have been saved.”