Neal Saunders, 39, died in police custody in Thames Valley (UK).
On September 3, 2020, Saunders’ father called police because his son started behaving erratically. Officers restrained Neal Saunders and did not let him move for several minutes. On a body-worn camera footage he is heard saying: “I can’t even breathe.”
In April 2021, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced its decision not to record the matter as a conduct investigation against officers involved in the incident. In May 2021 Saunders’ father said he would sue IOPC unless an investigation into his son’s death was opened.
MASS MEDIA ABOUT THE CASE:
“It just does not seem fair to me and I feel like my views and concerns have been disregarded by the IOPC in favor of the police officers’ narratives of events. I feel so empty and let down,” Saunders’ father said.
Saunders said: “I am really disappointed that the IOPC have refused to record my son’s death as a conduct matter and that they are treating the officers like they are just witnesses in the case. This means those officers will potentially avoid individual accountability for their conduct – both in terms of the force and their failures to provide my son with a basic level of care whilst he struggled to breathe.
The FBI initiative group requested clarifications on the current case from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Justice Minister and Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland, and British Home Secretary Priti Sushil Patel. The initiative group considers it necessary to combat police brutality and, if necessary, can provide legal and informational assistance to the family of the victim.