Probe launched after mixed-race father, 26, died following police restraint

Kaine Fletcher (Family Handout)

The family of a vulnerable mixed-race man who died after being detained by police officers said they had “no confidence” in an inquest into his death.

Kaine Fletcher, 26, died on July 3 after Nottinghamshire Police officers were called to his home while he was going through a mental crisis.

The father-of-two has been jailed under the Mental Health Act and held by a string of officers after becoming “uncooperative”. He died later that same morning at the Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham.

This was confirmed by the Independent Bureau of Police Conduct The Independent that an inquiry would look into the “actions and decisions” of the police, the violence used by officers during detention and whether the man was treated differently because of his race.

However, Mr Fletcher’s relatives said they feared a “lack of transparency” in the investigation. The family is particularly concerned that eight months later the IOPC has not publicly announced Mr Fletcher’s death or the investigation into it.

Father of two died in July (Family Handout)

Father of two died in July (Family Handout)

His father Nathaniel Ameyaw narrated The Independent: “It was very difficult to cope with. The pain feels endless.

“We’re still trying to come to terms with Kaine’s death. We were treated inhumanly as a family, without understanding. So we cannot mourn.”

He added: “We believe this is another case where police behavior or rudeness contributed to or caused the death of a young black man.”

The watchdog confirmed it had received a mandatory referral from police following Mr Fletcher’s death, but did not provide a statement on the inquiry at the time. The scope of the inquiry was widened in January following a complaint from Mr Fletcher’s family, he added.

“We were originally told a statement would be released, but that didn’t happen,” his 47-year-old father said. “My son was so well known in the community and it’s heartbreaking for us when people come up to us and say, ‘We heard Kaine killed himself,’ when that’s not true.

“I can only remain with the reflection that the IOPC would like this matter to remain behind closed doors – and they don’t want the public to know, while there is more accountability when things come to light.”

Mr. Fletcher with his father Nathaniel Ameyaw (Nathaniel Ameyaw)

Mr. Fletcher with his father Nathaniel Ameyaw (Nathaniel Ameyaw)

Mr Fletcher, who ran a mobile car mechanics business, previously struggled with cocaine use and was diagnosed with a personality disorder in 2020, according to his family.

He was “extremely popular” with “the world at his feet,” said his father.

“My son was very popular. Kaine was the center of everything; He loved to dance, he was very gifted with his lyrical skills, liked to rap and was very interested in motorcycles and fashion.

“He was a person that people looked to for advice and guidance because he was a good listener. He was the eldest son of six siblings and a hero to his children.”

Mr Fletcher is the fourth known black or mixed-race man to die after contact with UK police between June and September 2022.

Oladeji Omishore, 41, died in June 2022 after being tasered by Met police officers. The Independent revealed Godrick Osei, 35, died in July 2022 after contact with Devon and Cornwall Police. Chris Kaba, 24, died after being shot dead by Met Police firearms officers in September 2022.

Three of those four men, with the exception of Mr. Kaba, were vulnerable. Mr Omishore’s family is taking the IOPC to the Supreme Court in a test case, accusing the watchdog of failing to properly investigate the officers involved.

Tony Murphy of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors said on behalf of Mr Fletcher’s family: “The death of a vulnerable mental patient following police restraint will always be a matter of public interest.

“The bereaved bereaved always deserve expert support. It is therefore difficult to understand why the IOPC has refused to inform the public of Kaine’s death and has failed to respond to the substance of the family’s correspondence.”

    (Family Handout)

(Family Handout)

Jodie Anderson, of the charity Inquest, which supports the family, said the circumstances surrounding Mr Fletcher’s death demanded “the greatest scrutiny”.

“If the IOPC is genuinely committed to ensuring public confidence in the police complaints system, it should make the public aware of any death following police restraint,” she said.

“That the family waited eight months without public acknowledgment of Kaine’s death before being forced to speak to the press is shocking and unacceptable. The family needs answers and we call on the IOPC to facilitate, not hinder, this process.”

Officials had responded to a frantic phone call from Mr Fletcher the day before his death, on July 2, when he was in crisis, but had not arrested him.

said IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell The Independent: “The inquiry is looking into the actions and decisions taken by the police after receiving a call from the man on 2 July and another call early the following day regarding his wellbeing. After the second call, officers took the man in and arrested him under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

“The evidence we have gathered shows that the man was held during this incident and then taken to hospital after becoming unwell. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated there and he died around 9 a.m. that day.

“We are also investigating the violence used by officers during detention and whether the man was treated differently because of his race. We have kept the family regularly informed of our investigation, which is in its final stages.”

Addressing the alleged delay in releasing the inquest, Mr Campbell said the watchdog intended to issue a press release soon after Mr Fletcher’s death, but there were delays while they waited to see if the family wanted to comment on the inquest’s terms of reference.

Nottinghamshire Police declined to comment.

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