“I can’t breathe” video of arrested Devon man


Simeon Francis (family photo)

Film emerges of incident last year

A man who died in custody in Torquay police station last month had been arrested previously by Devon and Cornwall Police, which has referred itself to the independent watchdog for that incident. It is the second enquiry involving the same individual.

A video has emerged of the arrest of Simeon Francis. His family, who released the video which was taken by a bystander, believe excessive force was used when he was arrested in July last year. In the video, he is pushed against the wall and to the ground, where he says: “I can’t breathe,” and “You have got my throat.” Initially about 10 officers are involved. One asks Mr Francis to “work with us” as they attempt to calm him whilst arresting him for a recall to prison.

Mr Francis died in a police cell in Torquay after being arrested again in May this year on Cowley Bridge Road, Exeter. The Independent Office for Police Conduct will now investigate both incidents. 

Mr Francis, who has a 10-year-old child, moved from Birmingham to Devon 10 years ago.

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