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Family seek answers over Camden artist’s sudden death after police questioning

PUBLISHED: 08:30 19 June 2014

A bunch of flowers and a witness appeal board on the cycle path where the man was stopped by police

A bunch of flowers and a witness appeal board on the cycle path where the man was stopped by police

Archant

The family of an artist who mysteriously died after being stopped by police say they have faced a “complete blackout” in their quest for answers.

IPCC investigators going door-to-door as part of today's witness appeal in Camden. Picture: IPCC IPCC investigators going door-to-door as part of today's witness appeal in Camden. Picture: IPCC

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation into the death of the 37-year-old, an artist and former social sciences student from Kentish Town.

The man, who the Ham&High has agreed not to identify, suffered a cardiac arrest after being stopped by officers on a cycle path off Agar Grove, Camden Town, on Thursday June 5.

He died in hospital three days later on Sunday June 8.

His distraught family say they have no idea what happened, but that he seemed to have injuries that were “consistent” with being restrained.

A close relative said: “We don’t know why he was restrained or stopped – the police have told us nothing. There’s a complete blackout as to what happened.

“What he was doing on that footpath, I don’t know.

“There are injuries on his body that are consistent with being restrained.”

The man came into contact with officers at 11am and paramedics arrived at about 11.35am. He suffered a cardiac arrest, went into a coma and died after his life support was switched off.

Police have released few details aside from saying that officers had “cause to stop him” during routine patrols, after which he was “taken unwell”.

The family spoke to the Ham&High after visiting the scene in an effort to piece together his final moments.

They said the man was “very physically fit”, with no known health conditions.

“We’re trying to establish the facts ourselves,” a relative said. “He was a beautiful, handsome young man. Everyone who knew him loved him and loved his company.

“He was a peaceful man. He was not violent or aggressive towards police. It’s all so sudden and unexpected.”

A post mortem was carried out on Friday and the results are pending.

A spokesman for Camden Police said: “Officers administered first aid until the London Ambulance Service arrived. The matter has been referred to the IPCC, who are investigating.”

The IPCC is appealing for witnesses after carrying out door to door enquires at the scene last Thursday, June 12.

The dead man is described as Asian, of average height and slim build, who was wearing a red top and dark trousers at the time.

IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said: “This is a tragic incident. The IPCC will carry out a robust and thorough investigation. I would urge anyone who witnessed any part of the police contact with the man to come forward as soon as possible. My thoughts are with the family.”

The IPCC witness appeal number is 0800 015 4876 or people can email agargrove@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk.

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