Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Three deaths in one week after "non-lethal" restraint

Three people have died in police custody in just a week—all were restrained with “non-lethal” weapons.

Philip Hulmes, 53, was shot with a Taser gun at his home in Over Hulton, near Bolton, on Tuesday.

It is believed that before being Tasered, Philip stabbed himself in the abdomen.

Just one day before, on Monday night, Jacob Michael, 25, from Widnes, Cheshire, died after he was arrested by 11 police officers and “restrained” with pepper spray.

He was taken to hospital and died within two hours.

And last week Dale Burns, 27, died in Cumbria after he was both Tasered and pepper-sprayed by police during an arrest.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating all three deaths.

As the court system strains under the weight of mass arrests following the riots, and as young people are being locked up for crimes as “serious” as stealing an ice cream cone, isn’t it time the police looked at the ever increasing scandal of deaths in custody?

Since 1998, over 336 people have died in custody. No police officer has been convicted over these deaths.

We have to make sure the cover-ups stop.

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