A man who died in police custody told officers “I can’t breathe” as they restrained him, an inquest has heard.
Kevin Clarke, a 35-year-old with paranoid schizophrenia, told officers “I’m going to die” as he was put into two sets of handcuffs.Kevin Clarke
Southwark Coroner’s Court heard he was “ignored” and then lost consciousness as he was taken to an ambulance.
He had been living at the Jigsaw Project, a residential support service, up until his death on 9 March 2018.
The court heard he was seen by officers earlier that day but was not sectioned despite concerns from the staff at Jigsaw.
The police were called later and Mr. Clarke was found lying on the ground on the edge of a school playing field.
‘Going to die’
PC Lee Pidgeon told the inquest Mr. Clarke had begun to get “a bit fidgety” and the use of handcuffs to restrain him was appropriate as he was showing signs of acute behavioral disorder (ABD).
“This was an unusual behavior and it was obvious to me [Mr. Clarke] needs urgent medical attention,” he said.
“It suggested to me that perhaps he was getting a bit unnerved. Maybe he’s starting to get a second wind.
“If he had got to his feet with increased strength there was a possibility that one of us could have been hurt or he could have a runoff.”