After her brother died in custody, police returned the wrong body

source: VICE News
published: 10 August 2021

Christopher Ibikunle Alder’s life was abruptly cut short at the age of 37. The former British Army paratrooper lost consciousness after being assaulted outside a Hull nightclub in March of 1998, regaining responsiveness when transported to the Hull Royal Infirmary.

Police officers – who had initially been called to the club, and later arrived at the hospital – described the father of two as “heavily in drink” and apparently well enough to be detained.

Forcibly removed from the hospital, he was then taken to the nearby police station. At some point during the journey, he became unresponsive again and was [seen being] dragged into the custody suite with his legs and feet trailing along the floor.

Lying face down in a pool of his own blood – later heard to be making gurgling noises – officers believed that he was feigning unconsciousness. The audio track of the CCTV footage shows the officers making monkey noises. When Alder fell silent, the police began resuscitation attempts, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A coroner’s jury in 2000 concluded that the trainee computer programmer had been unlawfully killed, but five police officers were acquitted of charges of manslaughter and misconduct in public office.

In November of 2011, the government formally apologised to the Alder family in the European Court of Human Rights, saying they had failed in their duty to “preserve life and ensure no one is subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment”.

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