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Police partly to blame for black man’s death

AN inquest jury has found that there were “serious failures” in the actions of Metropolitan Police officers involved in “restraining” a black man who later died.

The jury also said that there were flaws in the actions of London Ambulance Service, mental health services and housing officers in their treatment of Kevin Clarke.

It concluded that “the death of Kevin Clarke was contributed to by restraint.”

Mr Clarke, aged 35, suffered from mental health problems, including paranoia and schizophrenia.

He was restrained by Met officers in Lewisham on March 9 2018.

On body camera footage, Clarke can be heard telling officers: “I can’t breathe” and “I’m going to die.”

His death triggered protests opposite Lewisham police station in south-east London.

Mr Clarke’s family was helped by independent charity Inquest, which involves lawyers who represent bereaved families.

Inquest’s Anita Sharma said: “This inquest is further evidence of discriminatory treatment, which is rooted in racial stereotypes of the violent and dangerous ‘big black man’ rather than the relevant training or procedures.

“There is an urgent need for structural and cultural change in policing, mental health and healthcare services.”

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