CS gas squirted at handcuffed man

A man who died in police custody after CS spray was squirted into his face had his arms handcuffed behind his back at the time, the Independent has learned.

It is also understood that at least five officers were attempting to restrain Ibrahima Sey, 29, at a police station in east London in March, when he was sprayed with the incapacitant.

News that CS was used while a man was handcuffed brought calls for trials of the spray, which is being tested by 16 police forces in England and Wales, to be halted immediately.

Ghanaian-born Mr Sey, who suffered from mental problems, was arrested after a fracas involving his wife and two children.

Initial findings of the police inquiry into the death at Ilford police station, in east London, are understood to have found that Mr Sey was handcuffed at the time he was sprayed, and was struggling, but contrary to some reports he was not head butting officers. Sources suggest that shortly before the struggle he attempted to kiss a woman police officer.

A friend of Mr Sey, Paebou Ndimbalan, who had travelled with him to the station in a police van, has claimed that up to 12 officers were involved in his arrest and restraining him at the police station.

Tony Banks, Labour MP for Newham North West, said yesterday: "If he was restrained already with handcuffs to use CS spray is dangerous and reckless - it must be outside the permitted rules and guidelines.

"The CS sprays should be withdrawn immediately from service until this matter is resolved."

CS spray, which causes breathing difficulties, streaming eyes and nose, is designed to be used defensively to restrain violent people.

A post-mortem examination showed that Mr Sey, who was 6ft 3 and weighed 18 stones, collapsed after a period of exertion and was suffering from hypertensive heart disease. Death was not a result of being sprayed, however further toxicology tests are being carried out on his brain to see whether it was a contributing factor.

Police from Forest Gate station in east London were called to Mr Sey's home in Forest Gate at 4.24am on 16 March, where they found his wife standing in the road. She had jumped from their first floor flat. Mr Sey was allegedly holding his six month old baby and shouting through an open window.

Mr Ndimbalan eventually persuaded Mr Sey to get into the back of a police van with him. When they arrived at the police yard of Ilford station the two men were separated.

A scuffle took place in which Mr Sey was handcuffed. Shortly afterwards he was sprayed in the face, during which several people suffered from the effects of the incapacitant and were replaced by other officers.

Mr Sey was placed in a cell and subsequently complained of feeling unwell. He was taken to hospital where he later died.

An inquiry is being led by Frank Wilkinson, Assistant Chief Constable of Hertfordshire police, and the case is being overseen by the independent Police Complaints Authority.

The Newham Monitoring Project, a campaign group, is calling for a halt to the CS trial and for the officers involved to be suspended while an independent inquiry is set up. Project spokesman Piara Powar said: "When CS spray first came out it was said it was for use on dangerous criminals, not for people handcuffed inside a police station."

Lee Jasper, for the National Black Caucus, added: "How can it possibly be justified to use CS spray on a suspect who is handcuffed and surrounded by officers in the confines of a police station?"

Suggested Topics
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: National Commercial Manager - Buyer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This waste services provider is...

Recruitment Genius: IT Cloud Support Engineer

£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a team player who likes...

Recruitment Genius: Skilled Machinist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled machini...

Recruitment Genius: Toolmaker

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled toolmak...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game