Police officers are ‘above the law’

The family of a mentally-ill man who died after being restrained by
police officers has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for
deciding not to prosecute anyone for his death because of
“insufficient evidence”.

Roger Sylvester’s family said the decision had been “shaped by a
desire to avoid any prosecution of the officers responsible for
Roger’s death”.

Sylvester, who suffered from manic depression, died in January 1999
after he was held down by eight officers for 20 minutes when he was
taken to a psychiatric hospital.

An inquest verdict that he was unlawfully killed was overturned in
the High Court last November after the judge criticised the
coroner’s summing up.

Deborah Coles, co-director of campaign group Inquest, which has
worked with the family, said: “This sends out a clear message that
police officers are above the law.”

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