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Misconduct hearing re: death of Olaseni Lewis

News   •   Oct 06, 2017 15:03 BST

A misconduct hearing has today, Friday, 6 October, concluded that none of the six officers breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to the restraint and death of Olaseni Lewis in September 2010.

The panel, led by an independent chair, and consisting of a senior officer from another force and a lay person, found that none of the officers had committed misconduct.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Martin, in charge of the Professionalism portfolio, said:

"Our sympathies remain with the family and friends of Mr Lewis. I would take this opportunity to repeat on behalf of the Met that we are sorry for their loss, and the circumstances in which Mr Lewis died.

"The officers were sent that day into a very difficult and challenging set of circumstances. Their actions have now been subject to two independent investigations, an inquest and a misconduct hearing.

“It is important that a panel – entirely independent from the Met – considered if those officers had breached police standards of professional behaviour. This also allowed Mr Lewis’ family to hear about the full circumstances of what happened that day.

"The outcome of the Coroner’s inquest raised a number of important issues for the MPS, and policing nationally, to consider in relation to restraint techniques and training. I would reassure Mr Lewis’ family over the seven years that have passed since Mr Lewis died, the way in which the Met would respond to someone in mental health crisis in a medical institution has fundamentally changed. However, we remain mindful of the finding of the inquest jury, and continue to review and improve our policies and training.”

The death of Mr Lewis, in September 2010 at the Bethlem Hospital, was subject to two separate independent investigations by the Independent Police Complaints Commission as well as an inquest that concluded earlier this year.

Following their second investigation, the IPCC found that the named officers had a case to answer in that their conduct was a breach of the Met's standards of professional behaviour in respect of 'orders and instructions', 'duties and responsibilities' and ‘use of force’.

The IPCC directed the MPS hold a gross misconduct hearing in relation to these six officers who were all attached to Bromley Borough at the time that Mr Lewis died.

As agreed by the IPCC, the hearing - which began on Monday, 11 September - was held in private, governed by police regulations in place at the time of Mr Lewis's death. Interested parties, including Mr Lewis' family, were able to attend. The outcome was delivered in public today.