Investigation under way into police contact prior to death of Mohamud Hassan in Cardiff

Statement from IOPC Director for Wales, Catrin Evans:

“We are undertaking an independent investigation into police contact with Mohamud Hassan prior to his death in Cardiff on Saturday (9 January).

“We were advised in the early hours of Sunday by South Wales Police that Mr Hassan was declared dead at a property on Newport Road on Saturday evening. We were also advised that he had been arrested by police at the same address on Friday evening and been released from Cardiff Bay custody suite without charge at around 8.30 am the following day. At that early stage we advised the force ensure that all police officer body-worn video of the arrest and journey to the station, along with CCTV footage from custody was secured for investigation.

“I send my condolences to Mr Hassan’s family and friends, and to everyone affected by his sad death. We are aware of concerns being expressed and questions being asked about use of force by police officers. We will look carefully at the level of force used during the interaction and I would urge people show patience while our enquiries, which will take some time, are made. Our investigation will focus on the interaction police had with Mr Hassan during his arrest, the journey in a police van to custody, and the period of time he spent at Cardiff Bay police station including whether relevant assessments were made prior to his release.

“We will be urgently examining the extensive relevant CCTV footage and body-worn video. Accounts will be gained from the officers involved, and we will be seeking to speak to a number of witnesses to the police attendance on Friday evening and to Mr Hassan’s movements on Saturday after leaving custody.

“I would like to reassure people that we will carry out a thorough and independent investigation into the contact police had with Mr Hassan. We will be keeping his family, South Wales Police, and the Coroner updated throughout the course of our investigation.

“An interim report from a post mortem examination is awaited. Preliminary indications are that there is no physical trauma injury to explain a cause of death, and toxicology tests are required.”

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