Solomon Islander Reportedly Dies While In Police Custody

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Police investigating after presenting family with custom money

By Solomon Lofana

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 3, 2014) – Solomon Islands police were forced to give five shell money to relatives of a young man who died in police custody on Wednesday following his arrest earlier that day.

This was to quell a potentially explosive situation yesterday after a large group of relatives gathered at the Guadalcanal Provincial police headquarters at Henderson to demand compensation.

Guadalcanal provincial police commander David Siosi confirmed presenting the five shell money to relatives of the young man, and added the death incident is under investigation.

Mr Diosi said yesterday’s situation was volatile and the police have to tread cautiously to resolve the matter.

A statement police issued said the young man was arrested around 1am on 1 January 2014 when they responded to a road block incident at the crossroad near Henderson airport.

"The deceased was subsequently taken and placed in police custody," the statement said.

"At 10am, duty officers discovered the suspect in custody was unconscious and suspected dead.

"The RSIPF Executive was informed along with the police forensic and Professional Standard and Internal Investigations (PSII) investigators.

"The deceased was later transported to the National Referral Hospital where he was pronounced dead my medical authorities on arrival."

The statement said preliminary pathological examinations to identify the cause of death have been carried out by medical staff.

"The incident is now an active police investigation and investigators are appealing to relatives and wantoks respect the rule of law and allow police to carry-out their investigation.

"The deceased is believed to be in his 20’s and may have lived around the Kwaio market area near the Henderson cross road.

"Members of the public who may have any information in relation to the deceased are urged to come forward and assist police with their investigation."

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