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May 9th 2018

Civil Liberties

Family respond to news that nine police officers to be referred for gross misconduct investigation

Family respond to news that nine police officers to be referred for gross misconduct investigation

The family of 35-year-old, Kevin Clarke, who died in March after being restrained by Metropolitan Police officers, has been informed that the nine officers who had contact with Kevin moments before he died may be in breach of police professional standards leading to possible charges of gross misconduct.

The family of 35-year-old, Kevin Clarke, who died in March after being restrained by Metropolitan Police officers, has been informed that the nine officers who had contact with Kevin moments before he died may be in breach of police professional standards leading to possible charges of gross misconduct.

In response, the family has issued the following statement through their solicitor, Cyrilia Davies Knight of Hudgell Solicitors:

“The news from the IOPC has left us reeling. On the one hand, we feel vindicated that everyone who dealt with Kevin in his final minutes will be interviewed to explain their actions. Yet, we’re shocked to the core to learn that the police felt it necessary to use the force of nine officers to restrain one unwell man.

“The very fact that the police called an ambulance to provide medical assistance for Kevin tells us that they knew he was unwell and potentially experiencing a mental health episode so we’re struggling to understand the reason for such an excessive response. Kevin must have been petrified in his final minutes and it is agony for us to even think about this.

“We’re keeping focused on getting to the truth. Naturally, we welcome the news that all nine officers may face charges and also the news that the Met’s contact with Kevin earlier on the day he died will be investigated. Only by reviewing all of the circumstances leading up to Kevin’s untimely passing, can we be sure of getting answers.

“We hope the IOPC will be able to complete their investigation swiftly and with the full cooperation of all the officers. Our wish is that the IOPC’s report will lead to systematic change in the way officers treat vulnerable people.

“Finally, we’d like to say thank you for all the love and support we have been shown at this difficult time. It has been a huge comfort to know that we are in people’s thoughts and we ask that you keep us in your prayers.”

Cyrilia Davies Knight of Hudgell Solicitors added: “Gross misconduct is the highest sanction available to the IOPC and so I am heartened that the circumstances surrounding Kevin’s death are clearly being taken very seriously. It’s vital that the Met, and all other police forces, learn lessons and change their practices from tragic cases like this.”

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