UPDATE: Met Police reverse Sean Rigg 'restraint' officer resignation

Sean Rigg died from a cardiac arrest aged 40

Sean Rigg died from a cardiac arrest aged 40

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

The Metropolitan Police has reversed its decision to accept an offer of resignation from an officer involved in the restraint of Sean Rigg, who died in custody.

Senior arresting officer PC Andrew Birks was set to quit on Sunday.

Sutton Guardian:

Sister Marcia said they were 'livid' to hear about Birks' resignation 

PC Birks was the senior arresting officer in the retention of Sean Rigg, 40, a musician from Tooting, who died in Brixton police station in August 2008 following a prolonged police restraint.

When the officer's resignation was initially accepted, Mr Rigg's family said they were livid and would take legal action if he was allowed to quit.

However, after intervention from police watchdog the IPCC and the decision by Mr Rigg’s sister Marcia Rigg-Samuel to take legal action, the deputy commissioner, has reversed an earlier decision to accept PC Birks resignation. He has also been suspended while the disciplinary process is carried out.

Sean Rigg, who had schizophrenia, died after being restrained following an attack on a man in Balham. He died from cardiac arrest.

His family are calling on the commissioner to suspend other key officers involved.

They are also calling on the Home Secretary to legislate to make it clear that as a general rule officers under disciplinary investigation are unable to retire or resign pending the outcome of investigations or proceedings and there are clear sanctions where this does occur.

Marcia Rigg-Samuel said: “The Rigg family is relieved that the commissioner has seen sense to suspend PC Birks and reverse his resignation, so that he can face disciplinary investigations, and possible gross misconduct charges depending on what is found.

“The Commissioner should now take the opportunity to suspend all the other key officers including the custody sergeant to ensure all comply with the independent disciplinary investigation by the IPCC.

Sutton Guardian:

Mr Rigg's family at his inquest 

“Our family now calls on the government to change the law so that other families do not have to threaten court action to stop officers resigning to avoid being held to account.”

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Service said: “This is a unique set of circumstances.

"In light of the public interest in this case, the need for public confidence in the accountability of police officers and in the interests of allowing a full reinvestigation to be most effectively carried out the MPS has now suspended the officer.

“What is important now is that there is a full and thorough investigation.

"There has been much speculation and debate about the actions of all the officers involved in this case, only through this new investigation can the actual facts of what took place be established based on evidence.

“The officer has given assurances, via his legal representative, that he would fully cooperate with any new investigation by the IPCC.”
 

Comments (5)

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3:31pm Sat 31 May 14

alroutemaster says...

This is a disgusting denial of this police officer's human right to resign as and when he wants to.
This is a disgusting denial of this police officer's human right to resign as and when he wants to. alroutemaster
  • Score: 4

6:56pm Mon 2 Jun 14

imalaydee says...

It is obvious that too much restraint was used as he would not have died otherwise! Too many police these days seem to think they are in the Sweeney or one of those American Cop shows.

Personally I think he should have been allowed to resign, as the family could then launch a civil action against him to find out what REALLY happened, not the sanitized "lessons will be learned" and firing we will get from the IPCC, if he (and the others) were found to have used excessive restraint they should be charged with Manslaughter.

Doubt he would be unemployed for long anyway, G4S would snap him up.
It is obvious that too much restraint was used as he would not have died otherwise! Too many police these days seem to think they are in the Sweeney or one of those American Cop shows. Personally I think he should have been allowed to resign, as the family could then launch a civil action against him to find out what REALLY happened, not the sanitized "lessons will be learned" and firing we will get from the IPCC, if he (and the others) were found to have used excessive restraint they should be charged with Manslaughter. Doubt he would be unemployed for long anyway, G4S would snap him up. imalaydee
  • Score: 0

10:08pm Mon 2 Jun 14

alroutemaster says...

Imalaydee: Nothing is obvious here. If you are dealing with a violent nutter like this, you restrain him any way you can, in order to avoid injury both to yourself and others, including the nutter themselves. You did not see how violent he was that night. Some of us, not police officers, did.
Imalaydee: Nothing is obvious here. If you are dealing with a violent nutter like this, you restrain him any way you can, in order to avoid injury both to yourself and others, including the nutter themselves. You did not see how violent he was that night. Some of us, not police officers, did. alroutemaster
  • Score: 0

7:19am Tue 3 Jun 14

imalaydee says...

alroutemaster wrote:
Imalaydee: Nothing is obvious here. If you are dealing with a violent nutter like this, you restrain him any way you can, in order to avoid injury both to yourself and others, including the nutter themselves. You did not see how violent he was that night. Some of us, not police officers, did.
Fair enough, but do you agree that the police have become very heavy handed over the years?

He wasn't a "nutter", he was suffering from schizophrenia, he was restrained for "several minutes", that is a long time for someone to be held down.. All it should have taken was 3 officers to grab his arms, legs and torso, while handcuffs and ankle restraints were applied surely? This pinning down of people is becoming very prevailant and in my opinion will lead to more deaths.

The Inquest into his death and even the Police themselves say that excessive force was used, healthy 40 year old men do not die of heart failure unless stressed beyond endurance, so whatever the circumstances, his treatment by the Police was the direct cause of his death and they should be charged with Manslaughter.
[quote][p][bold]alroutemaster[/bold] wrote: Imalaydee: Nothing is obvious here. If you are dealing with a violent nutter like this, you restrain him any way you can, in order to avoid injury both to yourself and others, including the nutter themselves. You did not see how violent he was that night. Some of us, not police officers, did.[/p][/quote]Fair enough, but do you agree that the police have become very heavy handed over the years? He wasn't a "nutter", he was suffering from schizophrenia, he was restrained for "several minutes", that is a long time for someone to be held down.. All it should have taken was 3 officers to grab his arms, legs and torso, while handcuffs and ankle restraints were applied surely? This pinning down of people is becoming very prevailant and in my opinion will lead to more deaths. The Inquest into his death and even the Police themselves say that excessive force was used, healthy 40 year old men do not die of heart failure unless stressed beyond endurance, so whatever the circumstances, his treatment by the Police was the direct cause of his death and they should be charged with Manslaughter. imalaydee
  • Score: 0

9:00am Tue 3 Jun 14

alroutemaster says...

I do not agree that the force was excessive. If you are violent, expect to be restrained. And no, I do not agree that the police have been heavy handed lately. Quite the opposite in fact, as witnessed by the way they allowed a bunch of criminal rabble to run riot in Brixton, Hackney and Croydon (amongst other areas) in recent years. They need to get tougher with certain sections of the community in the interests of law and order.
I do not agree that the force was excessive. If you are violent, expect to be restrained. And no, I do not agree that the police have been heavy handed lately. Quite the opposite in fact, as witnessed by the way they allowed a bunch of criminal rabble to run riot in Brixton, Hackney and Croydon (amongst other areas) in recent years. They need to get tougher with certain sections of the community in the interests of law and order. alroutemaster
  • Score: 1

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