Quiet funeral for Brixton riot man

IAN MacKINNON

In an emotional but calm funeral, relatives and friends yesterday buried Wayne Douglas, the man whose death in a police cell provoked rioting in Brixton, south London, last month.

The sadness at his death from heart failure was heightened as it came two weeks after the still-born birth of his baby son, Raekwon.

Yesterday, they were laid to rest in the same coffin at Streatham Park cemetery after a 30-minute service attended by about 150 mourners.

Nadine Beckford, his partner, expressed their sense of loss at the death of Mr Douglas, 25. "He was great at making a bad situation humorous," she said. "He loved life. I was looking forward to having his son. I know he would have been a good dad."

There was little mention of the circumstances of his death on 5 December after he was arrested for a suspected burglary, or the violence a week later. Two post-mortem examinations, one carried out by an independent pathologist for the family, found death was caused by heart failure due to an existing condition.

Lee Jasper, of the National Black Caucus, speaking after the service, called for a rigorous investigation, aside from that being conducted by the Police Complaints Authority, a body which did not have the confidence of the black community.

Albert Douglas, Wayne's brother, said he merely wanted a day of mourning. "This day is one of great sadness. There may be some anger in the community, but I can't speak for them."

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