Socialist Worker

Cop to face probe over the death of Kevin Clarke

Issue No. 2739

Flowers left for Kevin Clarke

Flowers left for Kevin Clarke (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A senior Met police officer who was cleared of misconduct over the death of Kevin Clarke is set to face new disciplinary.

The officer was told they had “no case to answer” last year over the death of Kevin—a black man experiencing mental distress.

But Kevin’s family were not told about the first hearing.

The officer has now agreed to have the original verdict quashed for fresh disciplinary proceedings, despite originally refusing.

Police watched Kevin suffer a mental health episode for 13  ­minutes on playing fields in Catford, south east London, in 2018. Up to seven police handcuffed and restrained him for 33 minutes.

A video shows he repeatedly told officers, “I can’t breathe.” He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead.

An inquest last October found that the restraint was inappropriate and contributed to his death.

Meanwhile more questions are being raised about the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan.

He was arrested following an alleged breach of the peace on Friday 9 January in Cardiff.

He was held overnight by the police and released the following day without charge.

Mohamud’s family and ­neighbours report seeing him bruised and cut, with blood on his clothes. He died later that night.

South Wales Police immediately denied any allegations of excessive force.

Bruises

But a post-mortem revealed Mohamud suffered many bruises on his arms and left hand. He also had an injured lip.

Anti-racist activist Lee Jasper, who is working with Hassan’s family, said, “The Coroner’s official briefing to the post-mortem pathologists stated that Mohamud had been arrested at a party and had been consuming drink and drugs.

“Once again, we see an attempt to smear and repeat falsehoods to sway or unduly influence, not only the public but unbelievably the forensic pathologists responsible for identifying the cause of death.

“The critical question is where did the Coroner get this information?

“Mr Hassan’s legal team has ­written to the coroner ­demanding an explanation of how this ­erroneous information ended up in a critical briefing note to the pathologists.”

The family still haven’t received body cam footage of his arrest.

Protesters in Cardiff and London since Mohamud’s death have called for transparency.

Bianca Ali from Cardiff Black Lives Matter told Socialist Worker, “We want to be a part of the investigation”.

Police have since moved to fine several protesters, trying to block resistance.

But the fight for justice continues.

A survey by the charity Inquest found that Black people are twice as likely to die as white people in custody.

The use of force features in more than twice as many deaths of black people in custody than of others.


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