Family sets up second post-mortem

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The family of Wayne Douglas, who died in police custody last week, have set up a second post-mortem examination into his death to be held next Tuesday.

Yesterday, Douglas's brother Albert, 38, said he was convinced that Wayne had suffered foul play at the hands of police. "We have eyewitnesses who have contacted us and local newspapers to say they saw 15 police officers kicking and beating my brother," he said.

"They say he broke into somebody's house with a knife. Even if he did that, he put the knife down when told to. They should have just arrested him not beaten him like this."

Wayne Douglas was alleged to have broken into a flat in south London on Tuesday of last week in the early hours, threatened the family with a knife, stolen bread and then made off.

Mr Douglas said he was summoned to a meeting at Brixton Police station last on 6 December and told that his brother had been arrested by police officers wielding the new long baton. "They said officers had to hit him on the hands to make him drop the knife and that they had taken him to the police station where he went all funny. They said his eyes started bulging, and they called the police doctor. "They said they checked on him every hour, although he was only there for one hour, so I don't know where they're getting that from. Then they said his heart stopped beating and he was taken to King's College Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival."

Police told Mr Douglas his brother had died of a heart attack and that he had been suffering from an enlarged heart. "We never heard anything like that. They said because my brother had run away, the adrenalin gave him the heart attack. That's how they tried to explain it but we didn't know anything like that."

He regretted the violence that broke out after the demonstration about his brother's death. "That's not what we were about - but having said that I understand feelings are running high." Mr Douglas added: "He was very sociable, had a lot of friends, just a normal guy."

Wayne Douglas, 26, was born in Dulwich, south London, and had recently set up home with his girlfriend. His father George, who died in 1992, came to London from Spanish Town, Jamaica, in the 1950s and was said to be a popular figure in the local community. His mother, Pearl, died of cancer. He had a younger sister, Lisa, 23, and an elder brother, Albert.

In 1987, Mr Douglas was jailed for four years for robbery. He also served a two-year sentence for burglary in 1992. He supported Liverpool FC and enjoyed soul and rap music.