West Midlands Police officer under criminal investigation after man fell to his death in Birmingham
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is criminally investigating the actions of a West Midlands Police officer following an incident where a man fell from an upstairs window in Birmingham and later died from his injuries.
Ayuub Hassan Abdi, aged 34, fell from an attic bedroom window at a property in Lozells, shortly before 1.30am on Wednesday 6 September. He died in the early hours of the following day (7) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
A constable has now been advised that they are being criminally investigated for unlawful act manslaughter, common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, in relation to their use of force during the incident. The officer has also been served with a gross misconduct notice for potential breaches of police standards of professional behaviour. It does not necessarily mean that criminal charges or disciplinary proceedings will follow.
After we were notified by West Midlands Police about the incident early on 6 September we sent investigators to the scene and police post incident procedure to begin gathering information. We declared an independent investigation later that same morning.
Our enquiries so far have established that police went to a multiple occupancy house in Lansdowne Road after a report that two residents there had been attacked by a man with a knife. After the arrival of another police unit two officers went upstairs to speak to Mr Abdi, who was in his bedroom on the third floor. The evidence indicates that during the conversation Mr Abdi moved towards an open window, and a Taser was then discharged by one of the officers. Moments later Mr Abdi fell from the window, landing on the ground outside. An ambulance took him to hospital with critical injuries.
As part of the evidence-gathering process, our investigators have been provided with initial accounts by some of the officers who were present. Police body worn footage was secured and that is being reviewed along with mobile footage taken by a resident before officers’ arrival. Downloads from the Taser discharged during the incident continue to be analysed.
A post mortem was held on 13 September and the results of toxicology tests are awaited.
IOPC Regional Director for the West Midlands, Derrick Campbell, said: “We have been in contact with Mr Abdi’s family to express our sympathy and explain our role. Our thoughts are with them and all those affected by his death.
“We will carry out a thorough, independent investigation of all of the circumstances surrounding Mr Abdi’s death. This will include looking at the actions and decision-making of the officers present. Police may use force in the course of their duties and we will examine whether any force that was used was reasonable, necessary and proportionate.
“Following the conclusion of our investigation, we will decide whether to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision and we will determine whether any officer should face disciplinary proceedings.”
We are liaising with HM Coroner and an inquest will be opened in due course.