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HUNDREDS PROTEST IN CARDIFF AFTER 24-YEAR-OLD MAN DIES FOLLOWING NIGHT IN CUSTODY

13.01.2021
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mr totd.

The family of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, 24, claim he was assaulted after being arrested in Cardiff.

Hundreds of people marched from the city centre to Cardiff Bay police station on Tuesday over the case.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael urged people to "be patient".

Mr Michael, who oversees South Wales Police, said it had been confirmed the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is to investigate contact between Mr Hassan and police before his death on Saturday evening.

The watchdog body has already indicated initial tests showed Mr Hassan had not died from physical injuries.

Toxicology tests were now being carried out and it is awaiting the full post-mortem examination results.

According to South Wales Police, Mr Hassan was arrested at his home in Newport Road on Friday night and taken to Cardiff Bay police station.

He was released at 08:30 GMT on Saturday and officers returned to the property at about 22:30 following his death.

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"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," said Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Michael.

"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."

South Wales Police said its referral to IOPC was standard practice following a death after police contact.

The force has said so far it found no evidence of excessive force or misconduct.

Mr Michael added: "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."

The case was raised in the Senedd on Tuesday, where Plaid Cymru's Adam Price said every effort should be made "to seek the truth of what happened".

First Minister Mark Drakeford said reports of the story were "deeply concerning" and must be "properly investigated".

About 300 people took part in the Cardiff march over Mr Hassan's death, with chants of "no justice, no peace" and calling for the police force to release CCTV of Mr Hassan's time in custody.

Some held signs that read "Black Lives Matter".

Campaigners have pledged to continue with demonstrations.

Mr Michael said the independent investigation would be "following the evidence wherever it takes us, without fear or favour".

He added: "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."