Ibrahima died in custody of heart failure, no trace of drugs, lawyer says
Share article:
Share article:

Ibrahima died in custody of heart failure, no trace of drugs, lawyer says

Credit: Belga

Ibrahima Barrie, the 23-year-old man who died after being taken into custody by police on Saturday evening, died of a heart attack, according to the results of an autopsy revealed by the lawyer for the family.

In addition, Alexis Deswaef said, the post mortem exam had revealed no trace of drugs in the man’s body. Barrie was outside the North station in Brussels on Saturday when a police patrol arrived to carry out a Covid-19 check on a gathering of people. Barrie fled on foot, but was later arrested and taken to the nearest police station at Place Liedts in Schaerbeek.

There, shortly after arriving, he lost consciousness and was taken by emergency services to hospital, where he died soon after.

The incident, one of a number in which people arrested by police have died, led to riots on the streets on Wednesday, when a peaceful demonstration broke down and clashes ensued. The police station was set on fire.

Related News


According to Deswaef, the toxicological test that was part of the autopsy was negative for drugs, but the heart failure by itself remains a mystery. Barrie had indeed run away from police prior to being caught, but he was at the same time young and fit, and known to be a good footballer.

The family saw bruises on the body in the morgue, but there is nothing to suggest that this could not be related to the autopsy or resuscitation efforts,” he said.

In any case, he said, the police action may not have been legally justified. Ibrahima, Deswaef said, had not been part of the group by the station, but had been filming the police action perfectly legally when police came for him.

This is a citizen exercising his right to film the police,” he said. “If he was doing that, it could be because the intervention was not properly carried out. That is something the investigation must show.”

The fact that he fled is not in itself evidence he was doing anything wrong, Deswaef said.

If you say he ran away from a police check, you forget he didn’t need to be checked in the first place. I can understand that some young people flee when they see the police.”

The prosecutor’s office in Brussels has opened an investigation into accidental death.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...