Police probe second death in custody

police guardOriginally published by: ABC News
24th May 2010

Victoria Police has confirmed the Ethical Standards Department is investigating a second death in custody, following the death early this morning of a 23-year-old man. Police say a man in his fifties died in hospital a day after being locked up for being drunk at the Dandenong Police station on May 13.

An interpreter who was called to the station has reported seeing the man crawling from his cell bleeding from the mouth and crying for help before he was taken by ambulance to hospital.

Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius has conceded an ambulance could have been called earlier. “I’m very concerned that in this particular case, that there were a number of opportunities for us to discharge [our] duty of care and it appears that our response has fallen short,” he said.

He said he believes the man had been unwell for a long time. “Although we don’t yet have access to the pathology report, I understand that no evidence of any physical force was identified in the course of his body being examined.”

Earlier, police revealed the chain of events leading up to the death of 23-year-old Umot Selek at Meadow Heights, in Melbourne’s north.

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