IOPC to reopen investigation into circumstances surrounding death of Kevin Clarke
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has reopened its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Kevin Clarke having considered findings from an inquest which concluded late last year.
Mr Clarke, 35, died in March 2018 in Lewisham, south east London, after he was restrained by up to nine Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers. We concluded our investigation 12 months later and shared our findings with Mr Clarke’s family, the MPS and HM Coroner.
Issues raised during Mr Clarke’s inquest in October 2020 prompted us to review our investigation. Firstly, the audible recordings captured on police body worn footage in which Mr Clarke can be heard saying ‘I can’t breathe’. Our review indicated that this was not explored with the police officers during their interviews with the IOPC. Secondly, the findings of the pathologist, which as a result of new information presented to them during the inquest, changed from their original conclusion.
The inquest jury delivered a narrative conclusion that Mr Clarke died as a result of acute behavioural disturbance, in a relapse of schizophrenia, leading to exhaustion and cardiac arrest. The restraint used by officers, which caused Mr Clarke to struggle, was cited as one of several contributing factors.
Following legislative changes introduced in February 2020, the IOPC can reinvestigate a matter where there are compelling reasons to do so. We have informed Mr Clarke’s family, the officers involved and the Metropolitan Police Service of this decision.