Family of man who died in police custody plead for answers as inquest into his death starts

originally by: London Evening Standard
published: 11 June 2012

The family of a man who died in police custody four years ago today demanded answers as an inquest began. 

Sean Rigg died after being placed in a metal cage in the yard at Brixton police station after he was arrested for allegedly committing a public order offence and assaulting an officer.

The musician, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was restrained and handcuffed by four police officers after he was reported “acting strangely” in Balham by a member of the public on the evening of 21 August, 2008.

But the 40-year-old, who left two sisters and two brothers, collapsed and was taken to King’s College Hospital where he died about two hours later.

Concerns from his family were raised after potentially crucial information about what happened at the police station proved unobtainable because CCTV in the yard was allegedly not working. A report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in 2009 recommended the out-of-date system be replaced as soon as possible.

Campaigners today said his family hoped the inquest starting today at Southwark Coroners Court would explain how he died.

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