Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Minnie_the_Minx, Aug 23, 2008.
There may be trouble ahead
Apparently healthy young man
Atkins Road is in Balham, not Brixton. OK, he "fell ill" at Brixton nick. But it makes you wonder whether the BBC wants to put in as many mentions of Brixton as possible so they can hint at the dreaded r word.
He could have had a heart condition. Lots of young people die each year with a previously undiagnosed heart condition
Here is the IPCC link:
As for the discussion over Atkins Road, its within the Brixton subdivision (there are three - Kennington, Streatham and Brixton) of Lambeth Borough in police terms, so I wouldnt read too much into it.
and more: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/Content/Detail.asp?ReleaseID=377464&NewsAreaID=2
Balham and Streatham/Brixton borders, if you bear in mind that most people think Streatham Place is Atkins Rd, IYSWIM.
I don't think this will start a riot.
If there was ever going to be one then surely it would have been when that Brixton prison van driver murdered that woman. Scenes on the ground that day were very ugly.
I'm very sorry for his family, but hugely pleased to know 40 falls within the definition of "a young man".
Well I'm 42 so I'm not going to say old am I
I'm not so sure that Naomi Gully's death was a case of murder. There hasn't been a trial or verdict yet, but (fwiw) I'd expect a manslaughter verdict.
I mean, did the driver really intend to kill her? Or was it (for example) more a case of recklessness on his part, exacerbated by poor training and support from his employer, Serco?
Why not let the jury decide?
That seems to be the most likely explanation. Guess we'll have to wait and see though...
That's pretty much what I'm saying here.
I was replying to brixtongirl78's categorical statement here that the death was murder.
Restraint can cause heart attacks, at least in people with dodgy hearts anyway. I'm not sure of the biology though - something to do with blood pressure? I think that's caused a few deaths in psychiatric institutions. Restraint + certain psychiatric drugs which weaken the heart = death through heart failure.
And the problem with restraint is that sometimes it's necessary and at other times it's not. Not convinced that there will be a fair analysis of the situation though, given from what I've heard about investigations into deaths in police custody.
I'm only calling it murder because thats what the police charged him with.
There was probably a number of things they might have charged him with for example death by dangerous driving, careless driving and so on. But they charged him with murder probably for a very good reason. The police don't like to waste their time and persue charges unless the have very good evidence to present to the CPS.
He didn't die in Brixton Nick though, did he? It's only a 'death in custody' because he'd been arrested. It might be a situation like the man found in Clapham unconscious on a pavement a few years ago. The ambulance crew said he was drunk and got the police to take him to the station. The custody sergeant thought otherwise and got him straight to hospital where he died of a brain injury. Turned out he'd been attacked on the street in Clapham. That was regarded as a death in custody but the police were completely blameless.
Or as DB pointed out, if he went 'no comment' throughout his interviews, they charge him with the Big One and let the court/jury take it from there.
Probably best not to speculate too much on the interwebs.
You're quite correct. Feel free to amend title of this post
Only it's not anything like the above case as Mr Rigg was not unconscious when he was arrested. He was physically very well when he was arrested, or at least appeared to be, and was certainly not unconscious. He became unwell at Brixton police station, was rushed to hospital and died 2 hours and 9 minutes after his arrest.
He was arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer, so one can safely assume that, at the time of his arrest, Mr Rigg was in sufficiently good physical health to have allegedly assaulted a police officer, a hard thing to do if you are unconscious.
some interesting and important updates re this
Maybe the thread title could be changed to something like "death in police custody after man is restrained in the only area of the police station not covered by CCTV. Actually it was covered by CCTV but the police initially said it wasn't and then subsequently claimed that it was but it was covered by the only camera in the police station to be not working"
You could add a combination of pepper spray,tasers,being squashed or choked to that list.
That will really stretch the page
Mr Rigg had not been taking his medication for some weeks prior to his arrest. He did not have a heart condition
Just for the sake of clarification
This is certainly a tragic case, but from the reporting some clarification does need to be made (I should also point out that these are personal views only, I have nothing to do with this case, and am not familiar with it):
The Police have no power to deal with mentally ill people on private premises, especially when those premises are the home address (as it is in this case) - the only Police power relevant is s136, which only applies in public. When Police do section people in private premises it is always with social workers / mental health staff who have obtained a warrant. The only thing the officers could do is attend and try to persuade the person to attend voluntarily, something which the staff should really already be doing.
Nor, could it be argued, is it really appropriate for Police to attend and "deal with" problems related to mental health at a mental health hostel, at which there are mental health trained staff who (one imagines) would have had far more training than the average relief Pc at Brixton will have. From the reports it does not appear that any of the calls mentioned that Rigg was committing criminal acts at the hostel, so one wonders what Police could have done - this is possibly why Police refused to attend.
That does of course lead on to something that has been oft mentioned on the forum - the woeful and entirely fatal lack of capacity in the mental health system for instances like this, both in terms of space for emergency/136 patients, and transportation for emergency patients that does not involve the police.
It looks like he did die in Brixton nick, or at least was given CPR at Brixton nick.. As CPR is an emergency procedure to save someone's life when either their heart or lungs stop working you can draw your own conclusions.
I didn't say anything before, but I know Sean's brother very well and have met his family (lovely people) and am friends with one of Sean's closest friends.
This whole thing has been devastating for me as Sean is the 2nd person who has died in police custody that I know of in a situation where I have been friends of their family and friends. Both young men had African ancestry.
I had been told a lot of information in confidence so didn't post here as I didn't really want to get involved in debates here where I might get really angry and post stuff I shouldn't.
Some of this information is now on the public domain so I'm going to post some of it here.
Please excuse the C&P
This is important and I wanted to highlight some aspects
Family hit out at IPCC over death in custody.
The police complaints commission is accused of failing to conduct an open investigation. Nina Lakhani reports
Sunday, 4 January 2009
What Sean Rigg needed, desperately, was help: urgent medical attention for his serious mental illness. What he got, instead, was restraint. He was taken into custody by police officers who failed to notice his illness. And within hours of being arrested, he was dead.
His grieving family pleaded with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to discover how he died. Four months later, their questions still unanswered, they have accused the IPCC of failing to conduct a fair and independent investigation. The investigators have refused to take even the basic step of interviewing the officers involved.
The family say they have been denied access to information they believe would explain why Mr Rigg, a physically fit 40-year-old man, died so suddenly, despite investigators' pledges to be open. The family's MP, Sadiq Khan, a human rights lawyer, is to meet investigators on Tuesday to discuss his concerns about the case.
Samantha Rigg-David, 38, sister of the dead man, said: "Our family had never come into contact with the police before this happened; our eyes have been opened to the injustice and discrimination suffered by many families at the hands of the police. But even worse is that we no longer believe the IPCC is independent and have lost faith in their investigation."
While Mr Rigg was physically well, he had a long-history of mental illness, and Brixton police had been involved in taking him to hospital on several occasions over the years. He lived in a supported hostel and was well known locally as a musician.
On 21 August last year Mr Rigg became disturbed after suffering a breakdown. Staff at his hostel made six 999 calls from around 5pm, asking for help in taking Mr Rigg to a place of safety. The police refused to attend.
Mr Rigg left the hostel in a disturbed state at 7pm and police approached him after a member of the public raised the alarm. Mr Rigg was restrained, handcuffed and arrested for a public order offence and alleged assault on a police officer. He was carrying his passport in his pocket at the time.
Mr Rigg arrived at Brixton police station in a van at 7.30pm but collapsed before he was transferred to the station. No one spotted that he was suffering from a mental illness or identified him as someone who had previously been detained under the Mental Health Act. A police surgeon and an ambulance attended, but he was pronounced dead at King's College Hospital at 9.24pm.
His family believe he was dead before he left Brixton police station. What exactly happened has proved impossible to establish independently. The family was told there was no CCTV inside the van, and crucial footage from the police station yard is missing. The existence of a camera which overlooked where he collapsed was acknowledged by police only after Mr Rigg's siblings insisted on looking around the station. Police now claim the camera had not worked since May 2008.
Anna Mazzola, of solicitor Hickman and Rose, acting for the Rigg family, said: "The IPCC only agreed to make the disappearance of the CCTV part of the terms of reference following repeated representations on behalf of the family. Despite the manner of Sean's death, the IPCC are refusing to treat the matter as a criminal investigation. Nearly four months after Sean's death, no statements have been taken from the officers involved and no explanation put forward as to what happened on the way to the station."
One of the family's complaints is that they were not informed of his death until almost six hours afterwards. They were not allowed to see his body for a further 36 hours.
Mr Rigg's elder sister, Marcia Rigg-Samuel, 43, said: "We were told there was one visible injury to his face which was described as a scratch. We were then actively discouraged from seeing his body – by the police and the IPCC – but by this point the alarm bells were ringing, so we insisted.
"We were shocked when we saw a clear wound on his forehead and another on the side of his face – these had never been mentioned, and we believe the police did not want us to see them. I think we have been told lies and I think there is CCTV footage that would prove this. There have been attempts to obstruct our search and to cover up what happened to Sean."
An independent pathology report points to a restraint-related death, but the family still awaits the official coroner's report. The IPCC denied them access to the police surgeon's medical notes.
Mr Rigg's death is one of 24 deaths in police custody last year. No fewer than 102 black and ethnic minority people have died in police custody in the past 16 years.
Deborah Cole from the campaign group Inquest said: "We are deeply, deeply concerned about the controversial circumstances in which another mentally ill black man has died and about the subsequent conduct of the IPCC. The family are right to express grave misgivings about this investigation, which so far seems to mirror mistakes of the past."
Ms Mazzola said: "There has been a clear unwillingness to reveal information. This is contrary to the overriding principle set out in the IPCC guidance on disclosure."
Deborah Glass, the IPCC deputy chair, insisted the watchdog has shared information with the family: "We understand and sympathise with their frustration but are sure that they, like us, want a thorough and impartial investigation to establish the truth about what happened to Sean."
I still feel uncertain about posting too much here. My distress at my friend's brother's death is insignificant compared to the immense distress of my friend and his family. I worry about saying the wrong thing.
I did attend a vigil outside Brixton police station where I met other members of Sean's family. A woman stopped to speak to them. She was the mother of Ricky Bishop, who also died in highly suspicious circumstances at Brixton nick. Then I met lots of other people too and for a while it seemed like this kind of thing happens all the time. Maybe it does?
The world seems to be separated into those people who have been affected by deaths in custody and those who have not.
Anyway, enough about me. This is not to do with me. I would just like it if people could check out the details of this case and be supportive to Sean's family.
The family's campaign website for Sean is here
please read this
Separate names with a comma.