Death of Cardiff man after night in police custody ‘deeply concerning’

Mohamud Mohammed Hassan
Mohamud Mohammed Hassan | Image credit Lee Jasper

source: The Guardian
published: 11 December 2020

The Welsh first minister has described the sudden and unexplained death of a 24-year-old man from Cardiff hours after his release from custody as “deeply concerning”.

South Wales police referred the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan after he was arrested following a disturbance in the city to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which has launched an investigation. Police said they were called by the Welsh ambulance service to a “multi-occupancy” property in Roath, shortly after 10.30pm on 9 January.

Hassan, who was of Somali heritage, was arrested at his Cardiff home on Friday on suspicion of breach of the peace but released without charge on Saturday morning. Officers said he left custody at around 8.30am. Hours later on Saturday evening he had died with his family saying he had claimed he was assaulted in custody before his death.

South Wales police said it had so far found no evidence of excessive force or misconduct. It said its self-referral to the complaints watchdog was standard practice following a death after police contact.

The IOPC director for Wales, Catrin Evans, said it would look carefully at the level of force used during the arrest and whether proper assessments were made on Hassan before he was released, but added that preliminary indications were that there was no physical trauma injury to explain the cause of death and toxicology tests would be needed.

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