Call to end racial discrimination following death of man after being in police custody
A Plaid Cymru MP has called for an end to racial discrimination following the death of a man after being in police custody.
Liz Saville Roberts, the MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd tabled an Early Day Motion that demands “institutional change” after Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, who was arrested in Cardiff died hours after his release without charge from custody by South Wales Police.
His family says he was released with injuries he did not have when he was arrested.
More than 300 people took part in a march from the city centre to Cardiff Bay police station yesterday to call for “justice”.
South Wales Police has referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for an investigation, which is standard practice after a death in such circumstances.
The motion calls for the House of Commons to recognise “legitimate concerns arising from evidence that people of Black and Ethnic Minority ethnicity die at a disproportionately higher rate as a result of the use of force or restraint by police.”
The motion says: “That this House mourns the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan following his release without charge from police custody in Cardiff on 9 January 2020; offers its deepest condolences to Mr Hassan’s family and friends.
“[It} notes that South Wales Police has, as is standard practice following a death after police contact, self-referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct; calls for a full and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Hassan’s death; recognises legitimate concerns arising from evidence that people of Black and Ethnic Minority ethnicity die at a disproportionately higher rate as a result of the use of force or restraint by police.
“[It] calls for systematic and institutional change to end racial discrimination within the criminal justice system.”
South Wales Police said: “Police were called by the Welsh Ambulance Service to a multi-occupancy property on Newport Road, Roath, Cardiff, shortly after 10.30pm.
“Mr Hassan had been in custody at Cardiff Bay Police Station the previous night following a disturbance at the same property. He was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace and later released without charge which is normal procedure for this offence.
“Mr Hassan left custody at around 8.30am on Saturday morning. His death has been referred to the IOPC as death after police contact and we are arranging the deployment of a family liaison officer to Mr Hassan’s family.
“As part of our investigation, CCTV and Body Worn Video has already been, and will continue to be, examined. This will assist in establishing and understanding the events that took place. Early findings by the force indicate no misconduct issues and no excessive force.
“We are aware of the extensive reporting on social media but due to the ongoing investigation and referral to the IOPC we are unable to comment any further at this stage.
“A post-mortem examination is due to take place tomorrow and until a cause of death has been confirmed we would urge against speculation.”