THE FAMILY of Sean Rigg are outraged after being told that TWO crucial police cameras were not working.
Healthy Sean, 40, died last August after being arrested in Brixton. His family were denied access to his body for over two days.
Over 100 black people have perished after coming into contact with cops since the body of David Oluwale was dragged out of a river forty years ago. We ask what has changed?
FOUR MONTHS after Sean Rigg died after being taken to Brixton police station in south London, the organisation responsible for carrying out an investigation has yet to take any statements from police officers.
The family of Rigg, 40, are furious with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over this and a series of other errors or delays affecting the case.
There is still no cause of death after a post mortem proved inconclusive, and the family were angered after delays in being allowed to identify the body of their loved one. They were not informed of Rigg’s death for six hours and were forced to wait a further 36 hours before being allowed to view the body.
There are also suggestions that crucial CCTV camera in the police station and the van he was transported in were not working. The existence of a camera which overlooked the spot where Rigg was said to have collapsed only came to light after Rigg’s family insisted on inspecting the police station themselves.
Difficulties in getting answers has led to a deterioration in relations between the IPCC and Rigg’s family, who want to know how a fit and healthy young man with no trace of drugs or alcohol in his body came to die suddenly.
The family say they were told that Rigg only had a scratch on his forehead, but they report seeing wounds on his face. Samantha Rigg-David, his sister, said: ‘From what I’ve seen, the investigation is a sham.
It’s all stacked against us. You have to push and push and push for the simplest things to be done.’ Elder sister Marcia Rigg-Samuel added: ‘I think we have been told lies and I think there is CCTV footage that would prove this.
There have been attempts to obstruct our search and to cover up what happened to Sean.’ She said her family had never come into contact with the police before the tragedy but now their eyes had been opened to the ‘injustice’ suffered by many other heartbroken families.
The Rigg family have been holding a vigil outside Brixton police station every Thursday. They do not understand how someone who had made large strides to overcome mental illness – to the extent that he worked in a hostel helping other sufferers – came to be arrested by police in Brixton for a public order offence.
Two hours after being arrested, Rigg was pronounced dead at King’s College hospital. Questions over whether the police failed to recognise Rigg’s medical needs also remain. The family’s MP, Sadiq Khan, a government minister, met with the IPCC last week to discuss the case.
The Home Office are due to complete a new pathology report soon.