Inquest into death following restraint by Metropolitan Police

By agency reporter
May 7, 2019

The inquest into the death of Edson Da Costa, following restraint by the Metropolitan Police, will open on Tuesday 7 May 2109, and is expected to continue to 4 June 2019.

Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson to his friends, was 25 when he was stopped by police in Beckton, East London on 15 June 2017. During this stop by Metropolitan Police officers, he swallowed a package and was restrained, handcuffed and CS spray was deployed.  Edson became unconscious and was taken to hospital. He did not regain consciousness and died six days later on 21 June 2017.

Edson was one of four black men to die following restraint by police in just five weeks in 2017. Given that official statistics on use of force and deaths in police contact show a long-term pattern of disproportionate use of force against black men, these deaths led to significant public concern.

Edson Da Costa was born in Portugal and had lived in London since he was four years old. He volunteered with Street League, a sports coaching company that helps to coach children aged 8 to 11 in football. He was awarded a Sports Leadership Award for his work.

The inquest will explore issues relating to Edson’s death including the lawfulness of force used against Da Costa including in the use of restraint and CS spray; and steps taken by officers present to safely manage and protect his health and welfare.

Da Costa's family said: “Though Edson’s life was cut short following contact with the police, he lived an incredibly fulfilling life, making the most of each day that he had. We are incredibly proud of the person that he was and our lives will never be the same without him. As a family, we have been left with so many unanswered questions. We are desperate for the truth and hope that this inquest will provide the answers that we need.”

Victoria McNally, Senior Caseworker at INQUEST, said: “In the summer of 2017, many were deeply disturbed by the deaths of two young black men following restraint by police, just a few miles and five weeks apart. Rashan Charles and then Edson da Costa. Against a backdrop of statistics consistently showing the disproportionate use of police force against black men, Edson’s family and the public look to this inquest to scrutinise all aspects of the police conduct surrounding his tragic death.”

* INQUEST https://www.inquest.org.uk/

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