Another Muslim man dies after police contact in Wales

Mouyied Bashir (l)

Yet another Muslim man has died in Wales after contact with police.

The latest victim, 29-year-old Sudanese man Mouyied Bashir, died on Wednesday after being restrained by Gwent Police in Newport.

His death comes just a month after that of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, 24, hours after he left police custody in Cardiff.

According to the black rights activist Lee Jasper, police were called to Bashir’s address by his parents after he began to act strangely.

Several vehicles and large numbers of police officers attended the property and, although not under arrest, he was placed in handcuffs and leg restraints. Whilst under restraint, he subsequently died. He had been a victim of a stabbing in previous weeks, and during his restraint he lay with police officers on top of him.

Gwent police has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for investigation.

Lee Jasper said: “Decade after decade, we’ve seen investigations followed by inquest inquiry followed by statutory review followed by Parliamentary reports. All have outlined detailed suggested reforms concerning how best the police should deal with people with mental illness, and absolutely nothing is changed. Nobody has been prosecuted, nobody has lost their job, no one has been held to account, and all the recommendations amount to nothing more than words rotting on the paper they’re written on.

“The case has been referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct. This will fill no one with confidence as the investigation into Mohamud Hassan’s Cardiff case so clearly illustrates. The system is broken, no one has any faith in so-called independent police investigations into controversial deaths in custody.”

Protestors outside Newport Police Station

Gwent Police said Bashir was suffering a medical episode and was taken to Grange University hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 11.40am.

The police watchdog said in a statement: “After being notified by Gwent police at around midday on Wednesday we sent investigators to the property and to the post-incident procedures where the officers involved have provided their initial accounts of their interaction with Mr Bashir…

“During their interaction with Mr Bashir his condition was noted to deteriorate. Paramedics arrived and gave medical treatment at the address prior to moving him to a waiting ambulance.”

By the time the ambulance arrived a number of police vehicles and nine officers had responded to the incident. The coroner was informed and a postmortem was carried out on Thursday.

Subsequently more than 100 protesters gathered outside Newport’s central police station on Thursday shouting “we want answers” and “we want justice.”

Black Lives Matter Gwent released a statement calling on the police and the IOPC “to put their money where their mouth is and deal with this deeply distressing death in a swift, transparent and empathetic manner.”

Catrin Evans, the IOPC director for Wales, said: “I offer my condolences to Mr Bashir’s family and friends, and to everyone affected by his tragic death. We have spoken to family members to explain our role and how the investigation will progress.

“It is appropriate in the circumstances of a death following police contact that we investigate what happened, and I would like to reassure people that we will do so thoroughly and independently. We will be carefully examining the interaction police officers had with Mr Bashir and whether their actions were proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances.”

Bashir’s death comes a month after the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan hours after he left custody in Cardiff.

It emerged earlier this month that an investigator had told Hassan’s family that he had come into contact with more than 50 police officers during the final hours of his life. An officer has been served with a misconduct notice as part of an investigation into his sudden death shortly after he had been released from custody.

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