An inquest has been launched 14 years after a Nigerian man died after some British police officers knelt on him while effecting his arrest.
A CCTV footage taken in Woolwich, South East London in September 2006 captured moment the late Nigerian man identified as Frank Ogboru engaged in a conversation with police officers who were called over to block of flats where he argued with the owner’s girlfriend.
When the officers asked Mr Ogboru not to return to the flat where he is staying, he protested and this led to a struggle and his arrest. Off camera, the confrontation escalates and the officers use CS gas to floor Mr Ogboru and attempt to put handcuffs on him.
Members of the public gathered round, with one filming the struggle on the pavement on his mobile phone. CCTV footage shows two more officers arriving to help restrain Mr Ogboru, who is still struggling.
Eyewitnesses claimed that officers appeared to have their “knees and feet” on him as he “wailed like a dog”, pleading he could not breathe. The film appears to show one officer’s knee over Mr Ogboru’s neck while his head hangs over the kerb.
As soon as the officers realized he is dying, they desperately tried to revive him but failed. The official pathology report gave the cause of death as “asphyxia during restraint”, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided “a jury would find that the restraint was not unlawful” as there was not sufficient evidence that the officers had breached their duty of care.
However 14 years after Ogboru’s death, the CPS is now reviewing the case of the Nigerian tourist who died in a similar circumstance like George Floyd.
Coroners (UK) have now recommended a review of police training after an inquest jury found last week that officers had ignored Frank Ogboru as he cried out ‘i can’t breathe, you’re killing me’.