Watchdog rules force used on father who died after Beckton police stop was ‘proportionate’

Edson Da Costa. Picture: submitted

Edson Da Costa. Picture: submitted - Credit: Archant

An investigation into the death of Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson, who died a week after being restrained by police in Beckton found the use of force by officers was proportionate.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) also revealed one officer may have committed misconduct over his use of CS spray.

The watchdog’s regional director, Jonathan Green, said: “Edir’s death has had a devastating impact upon his family and friends, and our thoughts remain with all of those affected.

“At the outset of our investigation a large amount of conflicting information began circulating regarding what happened.

“We have attempted to provide information to counter this, and have taken the step of announcing our findings in the interests of transparency.”

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Edson, 25, died in hospital six days after being stopped by police in Tollgate Road on June 15 last year.

The investigation found that before or during the stop, he tried to swallow bags found to contain crack cocaine and heroin.

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He lost consciousness while being handcuffed. The officer used CS spray around the same time.

The watchdog concluded on Tuesday that police were justified in stopping the car.

It recommended the officer who used CS spray should be dealt with by managers and not face disiplinary action.

He and fellow officers face the same over the speed with which paramedics were contacted.

One of those officers provided incorrect information about Edson’s condition and should be dealt with by managers.

A fourth officer who made a comment about the Mercedes car driver’s age, race and gender should face the same measure.

The officers’ actions in carrying out the stop were not discriminatory, the watchdog concluded.

The post mortem report gave Edson’s cause of death as a lack of oxygen to the brain caused by a blocked airway.

Mr Green said: “We have conducted a rigorous investigation that has revealed a number of areas of concern regarding the actions of four officers. The Metropolitan Police has agreed with this conclusion and action will be taken.

“It will be for an inquest, scheduled for next year, to determine how Edir died.”

The final report will be released after the conclusion of the inquest.

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