Heart failure blamed for Ibrahima Barrie’s death

A post-mortem has revealed that Ibrahima Barrie, a 23-year-old who died shortly after his arrest by Brussels police on Saturday, died as a result of heart failure. 

Alexis Deswaef, the lawyer representing Mr Barrie’s relatives, says this is what they were told on the basis of the first indication from the PM.

The post-mortem identified a heart defect.  Doctors concluded that Mr Barrie suffered a heart attack.  The lawyer added that the first indications from a toxicological report show no drug use.

Mr Barrie was arrested on Saturday evening after he attempted to avoid police checks in the North Station District of Brussels.  Officers took him to a police station where he lost consciousness.  He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance but died. A judicial investigation is under way to establish whether or not there is any link between police actions and the young man’s death. Interior minister Verlinden (Flemish Christian democrat) says so far there are no indications police acted improperly.

The lawyer representing the Barrie Family claims two mistakes were made: Mr Barrie should not have been detained. He also claims the young man was left lying unconscious for up to 7 minutes before any action was taken.

Alexis Deswaef: “When the family says this happened because he was black, I cannot deny this because I don’t think this would have happened with my son.”

A protest seeking clarification of the circumstances in which Mr Barrie died turned violent in Brussels yesterday. 116 people were detained.  5 officers were injured. A police station was damaged after being set alight.


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