MP introduces law to prevent the deaths of black and minority ethnic people in custody

Olaseni Lewis
Olaseni Lewis

source: Croydon Advertiser
published: 20 July 2017

Croydon North MP Steve Reed has launched a bid to prevent a repeat of the severe failings that led to the death of South Norwood graduate Olaseni Lewis.

Mr Reed has launched the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill – dubbed Seni’s Law – which aims to prevent the authorities from using excessive force against mental health patients.

Olaseni, known as Seni, died after being pinned down by 11 police officers in a seclusion room at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in 2010 after suffering a mental health episode.

After a seven-year campaign by Seni’s mother and father Ajibola and Conrad Lewis for answers about the circumstances of their son’s death, a jury inquest found serious failings by the Met police, the Bethlem and its staff all played a part.

During the inquest, a mental health worker gave evidence that statistics show young black men are far more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

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