Black men not safe in custody

Submitted by Matthew on 29 June, 2011 - 1:21

Demetre Fraser, 21, from Peckham, south London, has died in suspicious circumstances after a visit from the West Midlands police.

Staying in Birmingham as part of his bail conditions following an assault charge by his girlfriend (later withdrawn), Fraser was visited by police on 31 May, apparently for a routine check of his electronic tag. He died the same day after a fall from the 11th floor of the building where he was staying; the police insist the death was suicide, but neighbours report hearing a huge commotion and seeing evidence of a struggle.

Fraser is the third black man, after Smiley Culture and Kingsley Burrell, to die recently in extremely suspicious circumstances in police custody or following encounters with the police.

Fraser's mother, Ms Josette Fraser, said “They are trying to tell me my son jumped off an 11th floor balcony and killed himself. Why? His girlfriend had withdrawn the charge against him […]

"The idea that my son committed suicide is some sort of sick joke. Black men are not safe in police custody.”

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