In 2013, after being arrested on a night out in Bedford, Julian Cole suffered a severed spinal cord. But CPS failed to find evidence against officers involved
Prosecutors concluded that there was not enough evidence against police officers who left a man in a vegetative state, having suffered a broken neck during his arrest.
In May 2013, after a night out in Bedford Julian Cole was arrested by officers and carried to a police van during which suffered a severed spinal cord injury.
The Black Lives Matter movement in the US provided the inspiration for the relatives of the black athlete and student to speak out about his case.
Cole’s mother, Claudia said “Today, I learned the CPS have decided that there is not sufficient evidence to bring any criminal charges against any officer. Their decision makes no sense to me or Julian’s family”
“The CPS letter says that the case cannot go ahead because of conflicting medical evidence. But it seems clear to me that, even if it is not possible to say who in the group of people injured Julian, their complete lack of care for his welfare when he was so obviously injured was a criminal offence. I have instructed my solicitors to seek a review of this decision.”
In 2016 five of the six Bedfordshire police officers were referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to be investigated for possible criminal charges. The investigator also said the officers could have a case of gross misconduct to answer.
The Crown Prosecution Service announced on Wednesday that it declines to bring any charges. However, Bedfordshire police said four of the officers would now face gross misconduct proceedings, the other retired before the case could be brought.
Claudia Cole said last year that her son would need 24-hour care for the rest of his life. She said “Julian is still alive, but it cannot be said that he is really living.” She continued saying that Julian had been due to graduate from university at that time “but he never got a chance”.
“Julian had big dreams, big ambitions, and all of those are dashed. We miss him so much every day,” she added.
Parallels with Black Lives Matter:
Claudius Cole, Julian’s brother, drew a parallel during a 2015 interview between his family’s campaign and that against police violence against black people in the US. He said “It is the same type of behavior. It hasn’t been as well publicized. Julian did not need six officers to pin him down, he is only 5ft 5in and was unarmed. Excessive force used is just the same. There are questions to ask about whether there may be a racial element to how they treated Julian.”
Gross misconduct hearings would go ahead in relation to the four officers still serving as per Bedfordshire police confirmations. “Our thoughts remain with Julian Cole’s family and friends, who have had to wait almost four years for this decision,” temporary Dep Ch Con Mike Colbourne said. “It is disappointing the investigation by the IPCC took such a long time to get to this point, which has put added strain on Mr Cole’s family and the officers involved.”
Cole, was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence but the case was dropped because of his condition. He was 20 at the time of the incident.