An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the death of a man in south London has concluded that the Metropolitan Police (MPS) officers did everything they could to save him.
Daniel Bastien, 33, was taken ill after officers, called to reports of an attempted burglary in Bexleyheath, used force to remove him from the property on 17 September 2018.
Following an inquest held in Croydon by the South London Coroner, where a jury concluded on 6 December that Mr Bastien died of a drug-related overdose, the IOPC can now publish their findings into the circumstances surrounding his death.
As a spokesperson for the IOPC said:
“We found the officers – treated as witnesses throughout our investigation – followed policies and procedures and there was no indication any officer had behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings or had committed a criminal offence”.
IOPC investigators attended the scene of the incident and took witness statements from police officers and members of the public.
Body-worn camera footage from officers, which captured the entire incident, was reviewed and analysed by IOPC investigators in detail.
Mr Bastien was handcuffed and put on his side in a police van while being monitored by MPS officers.
He had appeared disorientated and uncommunicative, and his condition soon deteriorated.
He was removed from the van, had his handcuffs taken off, and the officers treated him, giving him CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) until paramedics arrived and then took him to a hospital where he died.
A post-mortem examination showed Mr Bastien had extremely high levels of drugs in his system at the time of his death.
The IOPC investigation concluded in April 2019.
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said:
“Police officers have a really difficult role to perform, and this case sadly highlights the challenges faced on the ground.
“The officers involved in this incident did all they could to safeguard Mr Bastien and acted with complete professionalism.
“Our investigation found that officers made every effort to give Mr Bastien emergency treatment and that they had no option but to use reasonable force to remove him from a property where there were reports of an attempted burglary.
“Very sadly, Mr Bastien died later in hospital as a result of a drug overdose.”
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