‘Excited Delirium’ blamed for deaths in police custody

Cases Adult UK - Police & Restraintall credits: Buzz Feed
published: 29 October 2016

During the summer of 2011, 25-year-old Jacob Michael died after being restrained by 11 police officers outside his home. Just 45 minutes prior to his death he had dialled 999 saying he feared for his life.

Witnesses saw Michael being repeatedly hit with police batons, moments after two officers from Cheshire constabulary released pepper spray into his face, the BBC reported. CCTV footage showed officers holding Michael down on the floor. There was evidence that he had broken ribs and a torn liver.

An inquest into his death concluded that Michael died from cocaine-induced “excited delirium” – a controversial medical condition you probably haven’t heard of.

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The truth about British Army abuses in Iraq must come out

Legal & Justicesource: The Guardian
published: 3 October 2016

In the past few days a number of politicians and former generals have criticised the so-called hounding of British soldiers by what they claim are just money-grabbing lawyers launching ill-founded cases into alleged wartime abuse.

Criticising the work of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat), Tim Collins, the retired colonel who led British troops in Iraq, said the allegations were being made by “parasitic lawyers”. Theresa May has said she wants to end the “industry” of vexatious claims. And Tony Blair, who launched the military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: “I am very sorry that our soldiers and their families have been put through this ordeal.”

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The Custody Notification System saves Aboriginal lives. Why isn’t it national?

Police Shieldsource: The Guardian
published: 15 September 2016

When someone is arrested and detained they are at an elevated risk to life-threatening levels of anxiety. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are at much higher risk than the rest of the population because of the distrust that has developed from generations of racism and marginalisation.

Deaths of detainees in police custody led to a royal commission that went from 1987 to 1991. Several recommendations from that inquiry called for immediate support to detainees through skilled advocates.

Today, this support exists through the Custody Notification Service (CNS) but only in NSW and the ACT.

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