An independent investigation has launched after a handcuffed man died after collapsing in the street in Lewisham.
Police and paramedics were called shortly after 7pm on Sunday, July 4, after reports of a distressed man shouting for help and trying to grab passersby in Catford’s Verdant Lane. The man was found lying on the floor saying he had been stabbed.
While checking him for injury the Met says he became ‘more erratic’ and a single handcuff was put on one of his arms before being removed ‘a short time later’ when his condition deteriorated.
The 49-year-old was given first aid and taken to hospital where he died later that evening.
The incident is now being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards and a referral has being made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Superintendent Petra Lazar of the Met’s South East Area BCU said: “This is a very distressing incident, and my thoughts are with the man’s family and friends.
“I will ensure that they are provided with the best possible support by the Metropolitan Police.
“A thorough investigation is under way to fully understand the circumstances, and this will include a post-mortem examination to establish the cause of the man’s death. No evidence of stab injuries was found by the officers at the scene.
“The officers’ body worn video footage has been viewed. It is important to wait for a full assessment of this and other material but, at this early stage, I can say that the officers’ use of force in applying a single handcuff was minimal.
“It is only right that this will be subject to considerable scrutiny given the sad outcome of this incident.
“I await further details in the coming days and can assure the full support of all my officers to those investigating this tragic incident.
“Along with colleagues and partner organisations, I will do all I can to establish a full picture and to share that with the man’s family and the wider community as soon as possible.”