Police cleared on arrest death

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The Independent Online
Police will not face charges over the death of a Nigerian asylum seeker declared by an inquest jury to have beenun- lawfully killed, the Crown Prosecution Service said last night. Shiji Lapite, 34, died of asphyxiation after being held in a neck-hold by plain-clothes police officers in north London in December 1994.

In January, an inquest jury at St Pancras Coroner's Court returned the verdict that he had been unlawfully killed. The CPS was to consider the verdict and the two officers remain suspended, pending the results of a Police Complaints Authority inquiry. But last night the CPS said: "There is insufficient evidence to ensue any criminal proceedings in connection with the death".

The inquest had heard that father-of-two Lapite had been stopped for "acting suspiciously" in Clapton by police officers, Paul Wright and Andrew McCallum. They described "a violent struggle". His death was recorded as "asphyxiation, with a contributory cause of cocaine intoxication".

The decision follows the inquest jury decision that boxing promoter Brian Douglas, 33, fatally injured in a clash with police armed with long-handled batons, died by "misadventure".

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