Mzee was a 18 year old young Black man from Liverpool,who was described by relatives as a very caring young man who adored his family. He was popular growing up with his friends and was the life and soul of the party, with eyes and a smile that could light up a room.
Mzee was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD). In August 2014, Mzee was attacked by five white males and sustained 14 stab wounds, following which he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His sister said that this stabbing incident had a dramatic effect on Mzee and caused his paranoia.
On the 13th of June Mzee Mohammed was at the Liverpool ONE shopping centre.
While shopping he was monitored on CCTV by the security control room, who reported him to Merseyside Police because of a claim that there was a ‘big Black male with dreads running around barefoot, threatening shoppers with a 12inch blade. These claims were never confirmed or proven.
Mzee entered ‘Chips a GoGo,’ a fast food restaurant and was followed in by security personnel. One witness gave evidence that there was shouting and raised voices from inside the kiosk. Mzee was then held on the floor by security personnel in the confined area behind the service counter.
When the police officers arrived, they handcuffed Mzee’s hands behind his back while he lay on his front. According to the inquest Mzee had already been checked by security officers who found that he no longer had a knife. However, this was not communicated to the police or other staff members in the kiosk.
Mzee was carried out into the street and appeared ‘completely motionless’, according to a witness. He was placed into what was described as an 'improvised recovery position' with his hands still handcuffed behind his back.
Witnesses stated that the police did not attempt any first aid. One witness said the police did ‘not look that serious or concerned’ and were instead talking to one another. The North West Ambulance service was called at 6.37pm and Mzee was later pronounced dead at 7.53pm at the hospital.
What was the legal implication?
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigated two complaints made by Mzee's family about the restraint used by Merseyside Police and allegations that officers were disrespectful during the restraint.
The IOPC concluded that "The evidence we gathered did not indicate that any officer committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings."
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.