Paul Reynolds, 38, died while in police custody in Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK.
On February 14, 2017, Reynolds was involved in altercation with other guests of Pontins Holiday Park. Security officers intervened and restrained him. CCTV footage shows one security officer holding Reynolds by the neck. Security officers eventually pinned Reynolds to the ground in prone position (facing down), with three security officers holding him down with his hands behind his back and legs folded for eleven minutes.
Suffolk police officers were called to the holiday park following reports of a fight. When police arrived, the security officers report they believed Reynolds was ‘pretending to sleep’ and was making ‘snoring sounds’. Reynolds was taken to a police van to go to custody. However, later realising Reynolds was unwell, officers stopped the van, commenced CPR and called for an ambulance. He was taken to hospital where he died on 16 February 2017.
In May 2021, the court ruled that the security officers used excessive force against Reynolds. The jury found that the police failed to assess the risks to Reynolds’ health. The coroners found that the use of restraint was “dangerous, excessive and inappropriate”.
MASS MEDIA ABOUT THE CASE:
“The significantly critical conclusions of this jury are reflective of the cruel and frightening ordeal Paul suffered. He was failed by Pontins staff and Suffolk police officers. The chokehold and manner of the restraint, for 11 minutes, by Pontins security staff was dangerous and inhumane, and caused his death,” Reynolds’ family lawyer said.
“It was clear from the inquest that the officers involved did not fulfil the assessment robustly and we acknowledge that their evidence identified confusion surrounding their police powers,” Suffolk’s chief constable Steve Jupp said.
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.