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Edir Frederico Da Costa: CS spray use on restrained man 'unnecessary'

Edir Frederico Da Costa with his son Image copyright GoFundMe
Image caption Father-of-one Edir Frederico Da Costa died on 21 June 2017

The use of CS spray by police officers on a man who they had restrained was "unnecessary", an inquest has heard.

Edir Frederico Da Costa died after the car he was travelling in was pulled over in east London last year.

A police custody expert told Walthamstow Coroner's Court the spray should not have been deployed once officers became aware the 25-year-old had drugs in his mouth.

The court has heard it is unclear when police realised he had them on him.

Mr Da Costa died on 21 June 2017, days after a plastic bag became lodged in his airway when he was restrained by four Met officers in Beckton.

During the restraint, some of the wraps fell from his mouth and police noticed he had become unresponsive, the court has heard.

'Feared for safety'

Joanne Caffrey, a police custody expert, said officers "should have been thinking about medical urgency" as soon as they saw the drugs.

"I would believe that the CS (spray) was unnecessary," she told jurors.

Ms Caffrey also said the officers' use of force would have been reasonable if they believed Mr Costa was carrying a weapon.

However, she added that she "would still want to see something objective, such as a bulge or seeing the item."

John Beggs, representing the Met, read a statement to the court by one of the officers who said he deployed CS spray as he was unable to access his baton.

"I feared for the safety of my colleagues," the officer said.

The inquest continues.

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