Man whose death sparked disorder ‘had packages in throat’ when he died | London

A man whose death sparked clashes over allegations of police brutality had “a number of packages in his throat” when he died, an early pathology report has found.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said further tests will be carried out on the body of Edir Frederico Da Costa following his death on June 21, six days after he was detained by police during a traffic stop.

Campaigners claim Mr Da Costa’s neck was broken and that he was “brutally beaten” after the car, containing three people, was halted in Beckton.

14 police officers were injured in the subsequent protest held in his name on Sunday.

Rumours on social media prompted the IPCC to take the highly unusual step of releasing details of the preliminary post-mortem examination, mid-way through the investigation, which indicated there were no spinal injuries caused by police.

In a statement, IPCC associate commissioner Tom Milsom said the cause of death had not yet been identified nor the contents of the packages confirmed.

Following house-to-house inquiries we have identified a number of independent witnesses and have begun interviewing them.
We have also recovered some body-worn video which covers the medical attention Mr Da Costa received.
We are seeking any additional footage that may have been taken at the incident.

Officers who were involved with the incident have given their accounts.

Following a preliminary post-mortem examination on June 22, the pathologist stated that there was no fracture of the neck or spinal injury, no broken collarbone and no bleeding on the brain.
“The pathologist removed a number of packages from Mr Da Costa’s throat. The contents of those packages will undergo further analysis.
“I must stress that the pathologist has not yet identified Mr Da Costa’s cause of death and has requested further tests be conducted.

– Tom Milsom, IPCC associate commissioner

Witnesses to the incident are asked to contact the IPCC at or call 0800 096 9073.

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