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No plans for criminal probe of police holding cell death

Eastern Finland Police said there was no evidence of any criminal act in the death of a man in Kotka last September.

Kotkan poliisiasema
Kotka police station, where a man died while in custody last year. Image: Antti-Jussi Korhonen / Yle

Eastern Finland Police Department will not launch a preliminary criminal investigation into the death of a man while in police custody last year, it announced on Friday.

The department said there was no reason to suspect that a crime had been committed in relation to the man's death.

The 30 year-old man died while being held at the police station in the southeastern city of Kotka in September 2020.

According to police, the man was arrested in Kotka on 5 September after reports that he was behaving threateningly. The man was handcuffed and had been tasered during the arrest, police said.

A police statement released following the man's death last year said that after his arrest he was taken to a cell reserved for drunk people, where he was later found dead.

Eastern Finland Police said there was no reason to suspect the two police officers who arrested the man of wrongdoing.

Footage from surveillance cameras in Kotka's police station showed the man walking unaided into custody, Eastern Finland police said. There was nothing unusual about the situation which could have given the police officers present cause for concern, the department said.

The initial inquiry into the man’s death was handled by the Eastern Finland Police Department, to which the Kotka unit belongs.

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