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  1. ITV Report

Olaseni Lewis death: Police officers cleared of gross misconduct as tribunal rules restraint 'reasonable'

Olaseni Lewis died in September 2010 three days after being subjected to two periods of restraint.

Six officers have been cleared of gross misconduct at a police tribunal over the death of a 23-year-old man who died after being restrained.

The Met Police disciplinary hearing ruled their restraint of Olaseni Lewis was "necessary, proportionate and reasonable".

Mr Lewis died in 2010 after being restrained while in the care of a mental health hospital in south London.

ITV London Senior Correspondent Ronke Phillips reported:

The private hearing was held after an inquest jury in May concluded "excessive force" and "disproportionate and unreasonable" restraints had contributed to his death.

Mr Lewis' parents Aji and Conrad Lewis, who fought a seven-year campaign over their son's death, previously criticised the decision to hold the hearing in private.

Parents Aji and Conrad Lewis, left and centre, have condemned the officers' action. Credit: ITV News

Regulations brought in by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2015 require police misconduct hearings to be held in public.

However a loophole allowed the hearing to be held away from press and public, though Mrs Lewis' parents were allowed to attend.

The inquest jury in May had criticised a series of failures by police and medical staff.

It said: "The excessive force, pain compliance techniques and multiple mechanical restraints were disproportionate and unreasonable. On the balance of probability, this contributed to the cause of death."

Aji and Conrad Lewis have fought a seven-year campaign to learn the truth over their son's death. Credit: ITV News

The six officers could have faced dismissal if the accusation of gross misconduct had been upheld.

Reacting to the hearing result, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Martin said: "Our sympathies remain with the family and friends of Mr Lewis.

"I would take this opportunity to repeat on behalf of the Met that we are sorry for their loss, and the circumstances in which Mr Lewis died.

"The actions of the officers have now been subject to two independent investigations, an inquest and a misconduct hearing.

"I have no doubt that each of those officers set out that day to do their very best and to do all they could to help."