The Management of West Hills Mall has clarified circumstances surrounding a young man who died within the facility during police arrest on January 30, 2023.
In a statement sympathising with the family of the deceased, West Hills Mall said the man aged between 25 and 30, was rushed to an on-site health facility after appearing unwell while being handcuffed by a police officer. Unfortunately, he was announced dead on arrival.
“By eyewitness and mall security personnel accounts, at approximately 3:15pm on January 30, 2023, a visitor was confronted by a police officer and asked to present his bag for examination. The police officer ostensibly suspected the customer, a young man between 25 and 30 years, of possessing drugs or banned substances. The accounts indicate that the young man hesitated, removed something from his bag and swallowed it as the policeman approached him,” the statement said.
West Hills Mall’s 24-hour security surveillance system captured footage of the officer apprehending the young man, as well as another man who accompanied him, as they headed for the main entrance of the mall.
In an attempt to handcuff the young man, the statement said a struggle between the parties ensued while the police officer tried to handcuff him.
He was eventually handcuffed but stopped struggling and appeared unwell after that. The police subsequently removed the cuffs off his hands, and mall security arranged for transportation for him to be taken to the medical facility on-site.
Sadly, he was pronounced dead by medics upon arrival. The Weija District Police have since retrieved the body of the deceased, the statement noted.
“The Management of West Hills Mall is shocked by this ill-fated incident. We convey our sincerest condolences to the deceased’s family as we trust that the police will handle the matter further,” added.