London

Sean Rigg: Misconduct claims against officers dropped

Sean Rigg Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Sean Rigg died while in police custody in 2008

Misconduct claims against Met Police officers accused of lying about the movements of a musician who died in custody have been thrown out.

Sean Rigg, who had schizophrenia, died in August 2008 after being restrained.

PCs Richard Glasson, Matthew Forward and Mark Harratt were accused of lying about what happened to Mr Rigg in the back of a police van.

The claims were dropped on Wednesday after a misconduct panel found there was no evidence they had lied.

A separate claim that Mr Harratt failed to check the police national computer to make sure there were reasonable grounds to suspect Mr Rigg's passport was stolen was also dropped.

The trio and two other officers - ex-PC Andrew Birks and Sgt Paul White - still face other misconduct allegations.

Apart from Mr Birks, they are all accused of lying about the events in order to mask their behaviour to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) or the jury at Mr Rigg's inquest.

Mr Rigg was arrested in Balham in August 2008 after aiming karate kicks at members of the public for no apparent reason.

He was restrained in the prone position by three officers for more than seven minutes and later died after suffering a heart attack.

The officers have been accused of a "cover-up" over his death.

Image copyright The Rigg Family
Image caption The 40-year-old musician suffered a heart attack after being held in the prone position

PCs Harratt, Glasson and Forward had all claimed that while handcuffed Mr Rigg had spun himself around in the back of the police van.

They were each accused of giving a dishonest account to the police watchdog and to the inquest into his death.

The Metropolitan Police misconduct panel, agreed the evidence the officers lied was "extremely tenuous" and found no case to answer.

Misconduct proceedings relating to claims over the restraint of Mr Rigg, the medical help he received and the officers' accounts of what happened are continuing.

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