On March 22, 2021, 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye disappeared in London. After leaving the house, the teenager did not take any pills, or a jacket, or money with him. Richard suffered from sickle cell disease and was mentally difficult to endure quarantine measures against the coronavirus. The mother was convinced that her son had been away for a short time, therefore, a day after the loss, she turned to the police, describing the situation in detail.
According to Okorogheye’s mother, the police did not take the matter seriously and only started searching for the body a few days later. On April 5, 2021, police found a body in a forest pond that matched Okorogheye’s description. Some time later, the body was identified and Richard’s death was confirmed. No traces of violence were found on the teenager’s body.
Okorogheye’s mother and the public believe that if the police had not been negligent due to racism, the teenager could have been found before his death.
In July 2021, the police watchdog (Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has issued misconduct notices to two Met Police staff over the way a student’s disappearance was handled. The IOPC explained that the serving of misconduct notices did not mean that disciplinary proceedings would follow.
In September 2021 the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has started an investigation complaints about how officers handled reports Richard Okorogheye was missing.
At the end of October 2021, the mother of 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye, who died due to the negligence of representatives of the police Department of London, Great Britain, after the frequent cases of black disappearances, called for a public investigation of how the police respond to such reports. She believes that the time has come to make serious changes in the work of law enforcement agencies in relation to the black community.
MASS MEDIA ABOUT THE CASE:
Specialist police search officers and dog units have been searching Epping Forest after CCTV captured him walking towards the forest in the early hours of Tuesday 23 March – the last time he was seen.
As someone with sickle cell disease, Mr Okorogheye would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition, his family explained.
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 racism on the part of law enforcement officials and, if necessary, can provide legal and informational assistance to the family of the deceased.