Officers have been accused of a “cover-up” over the death of a mentally ill musician who died after being detained by police.
Sean Rigg, a 40-year-old who had schizophrenia, was held at Brixton police station in 2008 after reports he was attempting to karate kick members of the public while semi-clothed.
A misconduct hearing was told he had been held face-down in the prone position for an “excessive” period and was not treated as a medical emergency despite showing clear signs of mental illness.
Constables Andrew Birks, Richard Glasson, Matthew Forward and Mark Harratt and custody Sergeant Paul White are facing misconduct charges more than a decade later.
Apart from Birks, all are accused of lying about what happened.
Mr Rigg was arrested in Balham, south west London, and restrained by three officers for more than seven minutes.
He later died after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Gerard Boyle QC, representing the Metropolitan Police, said multiple witnesses reported Mr Rigg acting as if he were having a mental crisis and added it was “staggering” that officers had not considered this.
He said a search on the police computer for the name on his passport would have confirmed his medical history, but instead the musician was arrested on suspicion of stealing the passport.
Mr Boyle said the officers’ “egregious failure” to help Mr Rigg became “more unforgivable” when they failed to intervene as he was slumped on the floor in the station.
He also said Mr White had a “cavalier” attitude towards the detainee and had falsely assumed he was under the influence of drugs or “feigning” his condition.
The five officers are accused of misconduct over Mr Rigg’s arrest and treatment in custody. They all deny the misconduct charges.
An inquest in 2012 found “unsuitable” force had been used, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the group, apart from one count of perjury against Sgt White.
He was later cleared of the charge in 2016.
The hearing continues.
(c) Sky News 2019: Sean Rigg inquest: Police accused of ‘cover-up’ over death of musician