Tragic: Matt Ratana Unlawfully Killed After Failed Search by Colleagues – Coroner’s Verdict

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Tragic: Matt Ratana Unlawfully Killed After Failed Search by Colleagues – Coroner's Verdict
Tragic: Matt Ratana Unlawfully Killed After Failed Search by Colleagues – Coroner's Verdict

A coroner has concluded that Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana was unlawfully killed in a custody cell after colleagues failed to conduct a “safe, thorough and systematic” search. Ratana was fatally shot on September 25, 2020, by Louis de Zoysa in a custody suite in south London.

De Zoysa, who is autistic, had been arrested and searched earlier, but officers did not find the gun he had in an underarm holster. Despite discovering bullets in his pocket, a proper search was not conducted. The senior coroner, Sarah Ormond-Walshe, ruled it was an unlawful killing due to the failure in conducting a comprehensive search.

The inquest revealed that during the arrest, de Zoysa was not properly searched, allowing him to retain the firearm. The New Zealand-born officer, just months away from retirement, was shot three times by de Zoysa, who is serving a whole-life jail term for the murder. De Zoysa claimed to be experiencing an autistic meltdown at the time of the shooting.

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