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Police officer who was jailed for attacking two black people is found dead at his home

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Police officer who was jailed for attacking two black people is found dead at his home

A police officer who was jailed for assaulting two black members of the public while on duty has been found dead at his home.

Declan Jones, a former constable with West Midlands Police, was said to have caused a public relations “disaster” for police with the assaults on consecutive days in April 2020.

The first saw Jones knee, punch and pepper-spray a man in the Aston area of Birmingham, before kicking and punching a 15-year-old boy he wrongly accused of possessing drugs in the Newtown area the following day.

The 30-year-old was jailed for six months in September for two counts of assault and is reported to have been recently released from prison.

He was found suffering a cardiac arrest at an address in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, on Tuesday afternoon, but paramedics were unable to save him, West Midlands Ambulance Service said.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said: “On December 28, officers were called to an address in Bromsgrove following reports of concern for the welfare of a man in his 30s.

“Sadly, the man was pronounced dead at around 12.45pm. We don’t believe there to be any third-party involvement in the death and a report will be prepared for the coroner.”

The assault case emerged at a time Black Lives Matter protests were sweeping the globe following the death of George Floyd at the hands of US police in 2020.

Sir David Thompson, the chief constable of West Midlands Police, was forced to address the outrage caused by Jones’s “excessive and gratuitous” use of force, which was captured on film, following his dismissal as an officer in September.

Declan Jones arriving at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court where he was given a six-month sentence after being caught on camera assaulting members of the public - Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS

Provided by The Telegraph Declan Jones arriving at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court where he was given a six-month sentence after being caught on camera assaulting members of the public - Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS

He acknowledged the case involved “a significant national concern, namely excessive force by the police on black men” and pledged to work to restore the trust of black communities in the West Midlands.

District Judge Shamim Qureshi, who found Jones guilty after a week-long trial at Coventry magistrates’ court, said at a hearing earlier this year: “I have to make the comment that the videos, some of which were released on social media, are disastrous for public relations. It is embarrassing. The videos do not show the police in a good light at all.”

A spokesman for the Independent Office for Police Conduct said: “We have been made aware of the death of a former West Midlands Police officer and our thoughts are with all of those affected at this very difficult time.

“As such, it would be inappropriate to say anything further at this stage.” 

Reference: The Guardian: Jack Hardy

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