Shane Bryant: unreasonable force contributed to death of Black man

Fiona Murphy and Cian Murphy were instructed by Sarah Ricca and Elliot White of Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors in the inquest into the death of Shane Bryant.

In the fourth week of the inquest, the jury concluded that aspects of the force used in the restraint were unreasonable, and there were missed opportunities by an off-duty police officer (‘Officer L’) in the management of the restraint. The jury found that both the unreasonable force and the missed opportunities contributed to Mr Bryant’s death.

Mr Bryant was restrained for 17 minutes by Officer L and members of the public after an incident at a shop in the Leicestershire town of Ashby. Officer L galvanised members of the public from nearby pubs to intervene, shouting “where’s your community spirit?”

Another of the group restraining Mr Bryant was a retired police officer. The jury heard evidence that Mr Bryant was held in a neck-lock by the retired officer for a period of minutes.

They also heard evidence that for several minutes more, he was held with his upper body in a ‘ground-pin’ and his legs locked in a ‘figure of four’.

After around 10 minutes of prone restraint, Leicestershire Police arrived.

Mr Bryant was handcuffed, and leg restraint straps were also used. He was kept in a prone position for about five more minutes after handcuffs were applied.

It was only when he was formally arrested that he was discovered to be unresponsive. Paramedics began CPR before Mr Bryant was taken to hospital where he later died. The medical cause of death included physical restraint.

His brother, Mr Dean Bryant, said: “People need to acknowledge the fact of what happens when people are held in these situations… to have such a disregard for a life, just because it’s a Black life it doesn’t matter. Well, it matters to us.”

Mr Bryant’s death has been reported by the BBCITV, and The Guardian

Further details are available from Deighton Pierce Glynn and from INQUEST.