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Restraint probably contributed to death of black man in Leicester, jury finds

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Restraint probably contributed to death of black man in Leicester, jury finds

A jury has found that restraint contributed to the death of a 29-year-old black man who was held down for 17 minutes in the street after an attempted robbery of a Leicestershire supermarket.

Shane Bryant, 29, a father of two young children, died due to global brain ischaemia, multiple organ failure, cardio-respiratory arrest and a period of physical restraint, a jury in Loughborough concluded.

Along with members of the public, one of the men restraining Bryant during the incident in July at a Co-op store in the town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch was an off-duty police officer known only as officer L, another was a retired police officer known as person 20.

The jury found that Bryant’s involvement in the incident and his resistance to being restrained contributed to his death. They found that much of the force used to detain him was reasonable but aspects were unreasonable and “more likely than not” contributed to his death.

They also found there were missed opportunities from the off-duty police officer in the management of the restraint that more likely than not contributed to Bryant’s death.

During the incident, Bryant was arrested, handcuffed, and arm and leg restraint straps were applied to him. Officer L applied his knee to Bryant’s back during the incident. When he was cautioned during the incident, Bryant did not reply. Paramedics began CPR before Bryant was taken to Queen’s medical centre in Nottingham, where he was pronounced dead two days later.

One unnamed witness told the inquest that while holding one of Bryant’s arms he became concerned Bryant was “struggling to breathe”.

HM assistant coroner for Rutland and North Leicestershire, Michael Auty QC, heard the three-week case, which opened on 4 October at Loughborough town hall.

Bryant’s brother, Dean Bryant, paid tribute to his sibling, who was a construction worker: “Shane was hilarious to be around. He was a fun, caring, protective person and had a smile that would light up a room.”

He said his brother, who had difficulties at school and was diagnosed with ADHD, left behind two much-loved children.

“We’ve learned from the inquest that there was a catalogue of wrongdoings in the course of the attempt to restrain Shane,” he said. “Then we’ve had the unfairness of the court process, where police officers have been able to hide behind screens and the footage that has been shown [to] the jury has been hidden behind screens as well.”

He called on Leicestershire police to reopen their criminal investigation into the actions of some members of the public involved.

“We are discussing with our lawyers bringing a civil claim against the police for their failings in relation to the restraint that killed Shane,” he said.

“Shane deserved to end up in prison for his role in an attempted crime that night. He did not deserve to end up in a coffin. We want justice for Shane and accountability for any failings that contributed to his death.”

Sarah Ricca of Deighton Pierce Glynn, the family’s solicitor along with Elliot White, said: “Shane’s family is very aware that black men disproportionately die at the hands of police during restraint. They want to shine a light on the continued dangers posed by police restraint and they want to know why lessons supposedly learned from previous restraint deaths are repeatedly forgotten by the police, individually and institutionally.”

Leicestershire police have been approached for comment.

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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Environment

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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