Exclusive: Watchdog urges charges over [Sean Rigg] death in custody

Sean Rigg
Sean Rigg

source: The Guardian
published: 23 February 2018

The police watchdog has said that five officers should face gross misconduct charges over the death of Sean Rigg, the Guardian has learned.

The allegations include claims of excessive force being used against the mentally ill musician, who died in 2008 at Brixton police station, south London. The case has caused concern from the prime minister downwards.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) believes the five officers should face allegations including the alleged use of excessive force and use of inappropriate restraint techniques, failing to identify and treat Rigg, 40, as suffering from mental health problems and failing to protect him from harm. The Met can reject the findings, but the police watchdog can direct a hearing be held.

The IOPC has already had to use that power in this case and said that the Met had to be ordered to hold a hearing against two of the five officers for claims they gave misleading evidence to an inquest jury and to investigators at the police watchdog. Those two are Sgt Paul White and PC Mark Harratt.

The other three officers recommended for disciplinary charges for their actions on the day Rigg was detained are PCs Richard Glasson, Matthew Forward and Andrew Birks, the last of whom says he is now ordained in the Church of England, while on suspension from the Met.

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