Mzee Mohammed-Daley was 18 years old when he died following restraint and arrest by security staff and Merseyside police at Liverpool One shopping complex on 13 July 2016. The inquest into his death opens on Monday (18 November).
Mzee, a black man from Liverpool, was described by his family as being a very caring young man who adored his family. He was very popular growing up with his friends. He was the life and soul of the party and his eyes and smile could light up a room.
Mzee was diagnosed with Autism and had other mental ill health. On the evening of 13 July 2016, Mzee’s mother contacted the Mental Health Crisis Team and raised concerns that her son was acting in a paranoid manner. Mzee left his father’s address and was next seen in the vicinity of Liverpool One shopping complex where witnesses described him as being agitated. The movements of Mzee were monitored on CCTV by the Liverpool One security control room who reported matters to Merseyside Police.
Mzee then entered ‘Chips a GoGo’, a fast food restaurant, where he was restrained by security personnel and handcuffed by police on their arrival. Shortly after arrest, Mzee collapsed and was treated by security personnel and police before responsibility for his care was taken over by North West Ambulance Service. Mzee was transferred to Liverpool Royal hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The inquest will explore primarily the events on the 13 July and will involve consideration of:
Mzee’s state of health, his behaviour on that day and what was known about his health by the people who interacted with him.
The events leading up to Mzee’s arrest and his interactions with security staff and police at the scene.
The treatment Mzee received from the security personnel of Liverpool One, officers of Merseyside Police and employees of the Ambulance Service.
Karla Mohammed, mother of Mzee said on behalf of the family: “Mzee was not only our son but our brother, grandson, nephew and cousin. He was also our best friend. We as a family would like to find out the truth about what happened to Mzee on that fatal day and hope that the inquest provides us with the answers to the many questions we have surrounding his death.”
Selen Cavcav, INQUEST caseworker said: “The footage of Mzee’s last moments lying on the ground with officers and ambulance staff around him, his hands handcuffed at the back was harrowing to view. This death following the use of force on a young black man with autism needs the most robust and far reaching scrutiny.”
Kelly Darlington of Farleys solicitors said: “This is an extremely tragic case in which a young man died unexpectedly and in circumstances that are still not fully known. Mzee’s family have waited patiently for over three years for this inquest to allow an IOPC investigation to take place alongside an investigation by an independent police force to examine matters outside the IOPC remit.
The inquest will hear from a number of witnesses including the police, security staff, medical professionals and members of the public who witnessed the tragic events that led to Mzee’s death. It is hoped that the inquest will provide the family with answers to the many questions they have surrounding the circumstances of Mzee’s death.”
The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Kelly Darlington and David Corrigan of Farleys Solicitors LLP and Paul Clark of Garden Court Chambers. INQUEST caseworker Selen Cavcav has been working alongside the family.