Serious accusations have been made against the police in Berlin-Brandenburg: a 45-year-old man died in custody. Death was most likely caused by forcible suffocation.
On Tuesday evening, a 45-year-old man died in a Berlin hospital. According to the media in the German capital, he is Bulgarian. His name has not been released. The man’s neighbors called the police because he was behaving extremely aggressively. And apparently he was mentally ill. When the police arrived, the man was rioting and resisting arrest.
When officers arrested him, the man passed out, a police spokesman said in a statement.
However, as reported in “Tagesspiegel”, the doctors at the hospital where the detainee was rushed to, apparently found dirt in the Bulgarian‘s mouth and lungs. Did the 45-year-old suffocate because the police intervened too harshly?
On Tuesday evening around 9:15 p.m., emergency services were called to the Karl Marx street in Niederlehme near Berlin. According to their own information, they found a man at the scene who was allegedly kicking objects and hitting a car. Despite repeated requests to stop his actions, the man continued.
“He was behaving aggressively, biting and was visibly mentally unstable,” the spokesman said.
The police had to use pepper spray. The 45-year-old man was detained and handcuffed with the help of local residents, “immediately after he passed out, the handcuffs were unlocked, first aid was administered and an ambulance was called,” the statement added.
Officials write that the man was taken to a clinic for further treatment. According to Tagesspiegel, by that time the man was already brain dead, and doctors diagnosed hypoxic brain damage. Hypoxic brain damage occurs when there is a massive and prolonged lack of oxygen in the brain.
The dirt found in the 45-year-old’s mouth, as well as in his lungs, could be explained by his face being “forcefully” pressed into the muddy soil for several minutes and him inhaling it. However, in the police report, the officers did not mention a word about this.
According to the report, the 45-year-old man died of “unnatural causes” on Wednesday evening, and an autopsy will be carried out on the body as early as next week.