The police watchdog has said that 46 officers are being questioned on the details surrounding the death of a 24-year-old man who died after spending the previous night in police custody.
Representatives of the family of Mohamud Hassan have been calling for documents about his final hours to be made available to them as well as police bodyworn camera footage of his arrest in Cardiff on Friday, January 8, and other footage of his arrest and his time in custody overnight in Cardiff Bay Police station.
Mr Hassan was arrested on suspicion of a breach of the peace and was released without charge at around 8.30am on the morning of Saturday, January 9. He was found dead shortly after 10.30pm that night at a property on Newport Road, Roath.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) issued a statement on Tuesday, March 2, detailing the emergency call which lead to Mr Hassan’s arrest as well details of the officers which are providing accounts of the incident.
The regulator said some speculation surrounding the circumstances of Mr Hassan’s death was “inaccurate” and information established by the investigation has been shared with his family.
Last month, over three consecutive days, hundreds of people protested outside Cardiff Bay police station demanding information about the series of events that lead to Mr Hassan’s death.
It was also stated in the Senedd that witnesses had reportedly been shocked by Mr Hassan’s condition following his release from custody, saying his tracksuit was covered in blood and that he had severe injuries and bruising.
In a statement, the IOPC said that on the evening of Friday January 8 officers attended the flat in Newport Road in response to a caller who said that five men had entered the address and were fighting with the five occupants within the property.
They said that body worn video footage showed that on arrival a number of the occupants had injuries, and officers sought explanations about where the injuries came from.
The IOPC also said that there was no evidence to suggest that Mr Hassan was Tasered at any stage either prior to or during his detention.
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While not all had direct contact or involvement with Mr Hassan, the regulator says it is still gathering accounts from a large number of officers and police staff who were on duty at Cardiff Bay police station over two separate shifts when Mr Hassan was in custody and those who were in supervisory positions.
11 officers who attended the address on 8 January.
10 officers who attended the premises the following evening when Mr Hassan died.
13 officers and detention officers who were on duty over two shifts at the custody suite.
12 officers who have been identified from events linked to the Newport Road address around that time which do not include the arrest or sudden death of Mr Hassan.
IOPC Director for Wales, Catrin Evans, said: “We are aware that there is a lot of speculation about the circumstances surrounding Mr Hassan’s death and we now know that some of that is inaccurate. As a public body we have a duty, when we are able, to try to correct misinformation that may be in the public domain.”
“There is much more work to do to complete our investigation and our investigators continue to gather and review evidence to help us establish the events leading up to Mr Hassan’s death. We need to ensure we have spoken to anyone who may possibly have useful information to help us build a picture of what happened.
“We have concentrated on the footage from police body worn video and from CCTV at the custody suite which covers the time Mr Hassan spent there and his release from the police station. As our review of this material nears completion, we intend to move on to scrutinise street and private footage which has been secured, which we hope will assist in identifying Mr Hassan’s movements following his release from custody, and may open up further lines of enquiry.
“An investigation like this does take time and we would ask people to be patient while the investigation runs its course.”