Socialist Worker

Why did Paul Coker die in custody?

Issue No. 1965

Around 150 people protested outside Plumstead police station in south east London on Tuesday of last week after the death of Paul Coker.

Paul, a 32 year old black man, died in a police cell in the station on 6 August after being restrained by police officers.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an inquiry into his death, and the Justice for Paul Coker campaign is demanding to know why he died.

The police were called to Paul’s girlfriend’s flat after the two had a loud argument. Paul’s sister Amy said the family have the account of Paul’s girlfriend.

Amy said, “She said she had told the police that they had settled their differences and was trying to get to him, but she was surrounded by officers.

“Paul and another group of officers were upstairs and she could hear him screaming, ‘You are killing me. You are killing me.’ She had never heard a man scream like that.

“Then it all went quiet. A woman downstairs says that when he was carried out Paul was not struggling. Police were holding his arms and legs.”

Another vigil is planned outside Plumstead police station at 7pm on Tuesday 6 September to mark one month since Paul’s death.


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