On the morning of Wednesday, October 23, the family of 22-year old Chakadan Daniel of Back Street, Micoud, was informed by police that he was found dead while in custody at the Micoud Police Station. That morning angry relatives converged outside the police station as his lifeless body was brought out in the pouring rain and placed in the vehicle bound for the mortuary.
Police later announced that Daniel was found hanging from his cell after he had been arrested two days prior for escaping lawful custody, assaulting a police officer and damaging property.
Chakadan Daniel was scheduled to make appearance at the Second District Court in Dennery on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 the day he most likely took his final breath. The night before one family member had made a desperate call to Daniel’s lawyer claiming that his brother feared the worst would happen at the infamous station where there have been numerous allegations of police beatings over the years.
A post mortem to determine the exact cause of death was held on Friday by Chief Pathologist Dr. Stephen King. The family of Daniel requested the presence of an independent doctor and that was granted in the persons of Dr. McDonald Chase.
On Monday morning ACP Crime Frances Henry met with the local press to disclose the results of the post mortem. “On completion of the autopsy the results of the cause of death was determined to have been death by asphyxia,” Henry stated. Asphyxia is a condition where an extreme decrease in the amount of oxygen in the body accompanied by an increase in carbon dioxide leads to loss of consciousness or death.
She also added that both Dr. King and Dr. Chase met with the family immediately after the post mortem and the findings were explained to them. She said that she too had spoken to members of Daniel’s family.
“I engaged members of the family and indicated to them the manner in which this matter will be proceeding in the presence of their lawyer,” Henry said. She pointed that she made available to them all the relevant documents with regards to the post mortem.
An investigation into the matter according to the ACP is now underway. “On completion of the investigation a submission will be made to the DPP,” Henry says. The DPP will then determine whether an inquest is necessary or whether there was any culpability by the police in Daniel’s death.