Edson Da Costa inquest: Jury to decide if ‘unreasonable actions’ contributed to death

Edson Da Costa. Picture: submitted

Edson Da Costa. Picture: submitted - Credit: Archant

The jury at an inquest into the death of a young father who died after a police stop have been told that one of the main issues which will come up is whether ‘unreasonable actions’ contributed to his death.

Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson, was detained in Beckton on June 15, 2017 and died in hospital days later.

Today (Tuesday) the jury at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard how on the day Edson, from Hackney, was detained he was travelling in a car with Claude Greenaway and Jussara Gomes when an unmarked police patrol car with five plain clothes officers inside stopped them.

The three were asked to step out of the car and did so.

The jurors then heard that officers felt it necessary to restrain Edson in a face down position handcuffing him before CS spray was used.

Senior coroner Nadia Persaud said: “At some stage before being restrained, Mr Da Costa put a number of wraps containing drugs in his mouth.”

She added that it became apparent he had done so during the restraint when some of the wraps fell out of his mouth.

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He then became unresponsive and was placed in the recovery position.

Paramedics took over attempts to resuscitate Edson when they arrived.

He was taken to Newham University Hospital where he died on June 21.

However, the jurors were warned by Ms Persaud that the version of events may change as the evidence unfolds.

Whether or not any unreasonable actions by the Met officers contributed to Edson’s death was one of the 13 main issues which could arise at the four week long inquest, Ms Persaud said.

Other issues would include the reason for the stop; when officers became aware Edson had ingested the wraps; the restraint carried out by officers; the use of CS spray and the summoning of paramedics.

A total of around 32 named and about 10 unnamed witnesses are due to give evidence.

Senior coroner Nadia Persaud asked each of the 11 jurors whether they were or had been employed by the police or had a relative in a force.

The five men and six women were also asked whether they were involved in campaign groups including Black Lives Matter and Justice for Edson.

An investigation by the police watchdog, Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), concluded the force used to restrain Edson was ‘proportionate’.

The IOPC said the 25-year-old had attempted to swallow a number of bags which were later found to contain cocaine and heroin when the car he was travelling in was stopped.

The inquest continues.