Leon was a loving father, son and brother. He was a kind, loyal, intelligent, caring person who put his family and others first.
On 4th November, 2013, a member of the public called the police on Leon Briggs. Police arrived and detained Leon under section 136 of the Mental Health Act and restrained him on the street. He was heard screaming “The cuffs are too tight, the cuffs are too tight” and screaming for help. They took him to Luton police station and put him into a cell where he was further restrained until he became unresponsive. He was then taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
What was the legal implication?
The IPCC conducted an investigation and referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). In 2016, they found there was “an indication” that the officers and a member of staff “may have committed criminal offences.”
However, in November 2018, the CPS decided that the police officers would not be charged over Leon’s death. The officers involved faced misconduct charges in relation to the use of force. However, the misconduct cases have collapsed and all charges have been dropped. The police had completely disregarded the needs of someone who needed help, rather than support someone who was suffering with mental ill health, decided to restrain him which resulted in his death.
If you want to find out more about other victims of police and state violence in the UK, click here.
The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where restraint is a feature is over two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody. The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where use of force is a feature is over two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody. The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where mental health-related issues are a feature is nearly two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody.