Nuno Cardoso, 25, suffered what has been described by officers as a “medical episode” after his arrest. His family say he had no known health conditions other than a milk allergy. A moving vigil in his memory was held on Friday night on the estate in Kentish Town where he was brought up.
As his death in Oxford became a case for the Independent Police Complaints Commission, his mother, Doroteia dos Santos, told the New Journal that police needed to do more to improve relations with young black men and to provide better training for officers. Ms dos Santos – who works for British Transport Police – said police forces needed to question the number of people dying in custody. “It is happening more and more and more, and we are really starting to get tired of this,” she said. “We really need police to be trained properly to deal with young boys. We don’t want to lose any more.”
She added: “The boys feel they are being attacked – and I feel the same. They stop and search all the boys. Not just because they have dreadlocks or long hair, but every black and mixed race boy in this country – they have the same problem. The police need to involve themselves more in communities. They need to give more space for the parents. They are not talking to us. They need to be holding meetings, public meetings, on the estates. From September until now there have been three deaths in custody. This shows something is wrong. Maybe they are not being trained.”