THE DEATHS of two black men after incidents involving Welsh police forces are investigated in a BBC documentary airing tonight.
Mohamud Hassan, 24, and Mouayed Bashir, 29, died within weeks of each other in separate incidents after contact with the police – both deaths sparked protests in Cardiff and Newport.
Their families have spoken of their fight for justice in the BBC programme.
In January 2021, police were called to the shared house in Cardiff, where Mohamud lived in a basement flat. He was arrested on suspicion of a breach of the peace, spent the night in a cell at Cardiff Bay police station.
He was released the next morning without charge and saw his his aunt, Zainab Hassan, and uncle, Sulieman Mohamed.
“As soon as I opened the door – literally I was shocked,” said Sulieman.
“His upper lip was completely opened. He had blood all over his top, his track-suit bottoms.”
Zainab added: “He had bruises on his arms. On his torso when he lifted his jumper, all you could see was just marks – red, black even. It was shocking.”
“I said nephew what happened to you? He’s like it’s the police. I said how and why? He said: ‘I dunno uncle’,” said Sulieman.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating his death; the actions of six officers are being examined for alleged misconduct.
A post-mortem examination failed to establish the cause of Mr Hassan’s death. The IOPC investigation is nearing completion; his inquest is due to take place in May 2023.
South Wales Police say they cannot comment on specific points due to the ongoing IOPC investigation, which it says it is fully co-operating with. They acknowledged the impact of Mr Hassan’s death on his family, friends, and wider community; and said their thoughts and condolences are with them.
Just weeks after Mohamud’s death, in February 2021, Mouayed Bashir died after police came to his house in Maesglas, Newport. His family say they were trying to get an ambulance because Mouayed was having a mental health crisis – instead police arrived.
“He was expecting paramedics, but instead police officers in black uniform with brutal force coming in,” said Mouayed’s brother, Mohannad Bashir.
Mouayed had been stabbed three weeks before his death; when police came to his home he still had a large, deep wound to his leg.
Mohannad added: “When the police restrained him they handcuffed him, they bound his legs and thighs. My dad was saying to the police officers ‘he’s already wounded. He’s bleeding again from his thigh. Please let go of his handcuffs and let go of his legs’.”
A post-mortem examination failed to establish Mouayed Bashir’s cause of death. The IOPC is finalising its investigation into his death; its publication will depend on discussions with the coroner. His inquest is due to be held in July.
Gwent Police said it was unable to address specific questions until the conclusion of the investigation and inquest, but added that no officers have been served misconduct notices.
The force said a risk assessment is carried out when receiving a 999 call and police officers may be asked to support paramedics. The ambulance service said it was sorry its response fell below the expectations of the Bashir family.
Mouayed Bashir’s family are planning to mark the anniversary of his death next month in Newport.
Mohannad said: “If we don’t fight and stand up for other people, for what happened to Mouayed, there’s just going to be another case. We want to do our part. We want to do this for the sake of Mouayed as well.”
Death of Two Black Men: Police in the Spotlight will be on BBC One Wales at 7.30pm tonight and on BBC iPlayer afterwards.