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Police Custody Death: a Guy Who Died in Police Custody is Being Investigated
James Barnes, age 45, was pulled over by authorities from the South Wales Police Department on September 20 at around 20:00 BST when he was driving in Treforest. Barnes was traveling in the United Kingdom.
Before being brought to the police station in Pontypridd and made to undergo a strip search there, he and the vehicle in which he was traveling were both inspected. After that, he was sent to Merthyr, and it was there that he ultimately lost his life.
According to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), he was taken into custody for interrogation in connection with an alleged scheme to distribute class A drugs, although he was never brought to trial for his involvement in the plot.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) reports that Mr. Barnes was arrested at around 22:30 and transported to the Merthyr Bridewell police station.
It said that despite completing regular inspections, the staff at the detention center noticed that he was sick around 4:30 the next morning. This was even though the institution performed frequent checks.
The attending paramedics on the 21st of September, at around 6:30 in the morning, concluded that Mr. Barnes had passed away.
The IOPC confirmed that it had been made aware of the situation earlier that morning and that investigators had been sent to the station to conduct interviews with officers and other members of the station’s staff.
They are currently going over the logs of detention, as well as statements, CCTV footage, and bodycam footage from the police.
The following is a statement that was made by Catrin Evans, who serves as the director for Wales of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC): “We are investigating to determine whether the search, arrest, and detention of Mr. Barnes were carried out by the applicable policies and procedures of both the local force and the national government. In addition to this, we are looking into whether or not the degree of medical attention that was given to him while he was in detention was enough.”
At the moment, every officer is being evaluated for their credibility as possible witnesses.
Post-mortem exams were carried out on September 23, and additional examinations are still being carried out at this time.
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