ALUN Michael, the South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner has commented on the circumstances surrounding the death of Mohamud Hassan
“Since the weekend I have gained an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mohamud Hassan in Cardiff and the concerns of his family who have sought answers about what happened during his time in police custody.
“South Wales Police referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) which is normal after someone dies after spending time in police custody and fits with our approach of following the evidence wherever it takes us, without fear or favour.
“It has been confirmed that the Independent Office for Police Conduct is to carry out an independent investigation into police contact with Mr Hassan prior to his death.
“I would like to offer my sympathies to Mr Hassan’s family and friends and to those members of the community affected by his death and the events at the weekend.
“We now know that there is no physical trauma injury to explain a cause of death and it is important that we await the outcome of the independent investigation before drawing conclusions about what happened.
“Cameras from the custody unit and body-worn video footage from police officers has all been made available to the IOPC and will help them establish what happened in the hours prior to Mr Hassan’s death.
“In the meantime, we need to be patient and allow the investigation to take its course so we can get a full picture of what took place.”
A statement has been issued by the Independent Office for Police Conduct regarding their investigation where the Director for Wales, Catrin Evans states:
“We are undertaking an independent investigation into police contact with Mohamud Hassan prior to his death in Cardiff on Saturday (9 January).
“We were advised in the early hours of Sunday by South Wales Police that Mr Hassan was declared dead at a property on Newport Road on Saturday evening. We were also advised that he had been arrested by police at the same address on Friday evening and been released from Cardiff Bay custody suite without charge at around 8.30 am the following day. At that early stage, we advised the force to ensure that all police officer body-worn video of the arrest and journey to the station, along with CCTV footage from custody was secured for investigation.
“I send my condolences to Mr Hassan’s family and friends, and to everyone affected by his sad death. We are aware of concerns being expressed and questions being asked about the use of force by police officers. We will look carefully at the level of force used during the interaction and I would urge people to show patience while our enquiries, which will take some time, are made. Our investigation will focus on the interaction police had with Mr Hassan during his arrest, the journey in a police van to custody, and the period of time he spent at Cardiff Bay police station including whether relevant assessments were made prior to his release.
“We will be urgently examining the extensive relevant CCTV footage and body-worn video. Accounts will be gained from the officers involved, and we will be seeking to speak to a number of witnesses to the police attendance on Friday evening and to Mr Hassan’s movements on Saturday after leaving custody.
“I would like to reassure people that we will carry out a thorough and independent investigation into the contact police had with Mr Hassan. We will be keeping his family, South Wales Police, and the Coroner updated throughout the course of our investigation.
“An interim report from a post mortem examination is awaited. Preliminary indications are that there is no physical trauma injury to explain a cause of death, and toxicology tests are required.”