Met asked to increase security at the inquest of young father who died after being restrained by police
PUBLISHED: 17:19 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 12 February 2019
A coroner has asked for extra security at the inquest into the death of a young father who died after being restrained by police officers.
Eastern area of Greater London coroner, Nadia Persaud, made the call to the Met Police ahead of the inquest into the death of Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson.
The 25-year-old died in hospital six days after being stopped in a car by officers in Tollgate Road, Beckton in June 2017.
At a review to decide on the scope of the forthcoming hearing held on Monday at Waltham Forest Town Hall questions were also raised as to whether or not jurors with police connections could be chosen.
Ms Persaud, said: “We need to have the confidence of an impartial jury.
“We need to know whether [jurors] have any connection with witnesses or Edson and whether they or any family members have been employed by a police force.”
But John Begs, representing the Met Police, said that would be going too far and only serving members of the Met should be disqualified from being selected.
Mr Begs said: “It isn’t right to go beyond the Met because geography is not the issue. The issue is one of professional loyalty to the force which may be criticised.”
He added that barring someone because they served with, or knew someone employed by, the police would disqualify a large section of society.
The coroner said she would accept further submissions before making a decision.
Edson’s death sparked protests outside Forest Gate police station on June 25, 2017.
Video footage of attempts to save Edson’s life would not be shown to the jury out of respect for his family’s feelings and because an expert had already concluded it was of a good standard, Ms Persaud said.
A pathologist said in 2017 that Edson had bags containing crack cocaine and heroin in his throat.
He lost consciousness while he was being handcuffed.
An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Complaints found an officer may have committed misconduct after using CS spray on him at the time of his arrest.
But the watchdog concluded last October that police were justified in stopping the Mercedes hire car.
Five officers have been called to submit evidence at the inquest due to start on May 9.
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