Inquest is shown harrowing footage of black man with mental health issues who died at the ExCel Centre in London after being restrained by security guards
The moment police attempted to save a black man who later died after being restrained by security guards at a conference centre was played at an inquest into his death.
CCTV footage from the ExCel Centre in London showed Jason Lennon lying on the floor with three uniformed officers crouched over him.
His bare legs were visible among the group as they attempted to give him CPR.
Jurors at the inquest were warned prior to viewing the footage that some might find it distressing.
The short clip was played as a CCTV operator gave evidence describing how he controlled the cameras at the convention centre and described the events leading up to the incident.
Lennon, 37, who had a history of mental ill health and previously tried to take his own life, had been restrained by security staff after following a member of public into the Excel Centre in July 2019.
Jason Lennon (pictured), 37, who had a history of mental ill health, died after being restrained by security staff after following a member of public into London’s Excel Centre in July 2019
When police arrived, he was being pinned to the ground by five security guards.
The inquest was told Lennon was lying face down and police handcuffed him before rolling his body over when they realised he was unconscious.
The officers carried out CPR and Lennon was taken to Newham Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The inquest, being held at Barking Town Hall in East London is expected to last a month and hear from over 40 witnesses.
Lennon’s family are represented by lawyer Fiona Murphy while other interested parties watching the proceedings via Zoom include the police, East London NHS Trust and the ExCel centre.
His immediate family are watching the inquest remotely from their home in Jamaica.
Coroner Graeme Irvine will determine whether Lennon was receiving the right care before he died, the impact of the restraint and the emergency care he received.
Ignatius Enemor, who was in the control room at the ExCel centre on the morning of the incident told the inquest he had received a report of an assault on staff.
When police arrived at the ExCel Centre (pictured), Lennon was being pinned to the ground by security guards. Police handcuffed Lennon before realising he was unconscious
He said staff were dealing with the incident and he dispatched a dog handler and a colleague to the scene of the incident close to the east entrance of the conference centre.
Mr Enemor said he was about to call for medical assistance and police but was told they were already at the scene.
CCTV played to the jury of 11 showed three police officers running through the entrance.
In the footage the ceiling mounted camera moves to show three officers crouching over Lennon as uniformed security guards stand watching.
Asked by the family’s lawyer what he witnessed in the control room he said: ‘I saw a black man on the floor with people around him.’
In his opening remarks to the jury, the Coroner said Lennon had a history of mental illness.
In his opening statement at the start of the inquest on January 11th he said prior to walking into the ExCel centre Lennon was involved in a number of ‘confrontational incidents with members of the public’.
Mr Irvine said an assault on an Asian man was captured on CCTV with a delivery driver stopping to intervene and allow the victim to escape.
Lennon was also walked into the path of a bus having left his sheltered accommodation.
After police had been alerted to a number of assaults Lennon began following a member of public who was so concerned, they walked towards the entrance of the ExCel centre.
The man told staff he was being followed and was allowed into the building. Lennon pushed past a security guard and others in the building brought him to the ground.
The officers carried out CPR and Lennon was taken to Newham Hospital where he was pronounced dead, an inquest at Barking Town Hall in East London heard
The coroner said: ‘When the police arrived at the scene at 7.35am they described a very large black males lying on his stomach, face down with at least five security guards pinning him to the floor on several points of his body, holding down his upper body and lower body.
‘Officers handcuffed Jason and rolled him over – at this point they realised that Jason had no pulse. BY 7.39am the officers had taken Jason out of handcuffs and started providing CPR.’
The Coroner also gave the jury background details into Mr Lennon’s mental health.
In 2002 after being remanded into custody at Feltham Young Offenders Institute he tried to hang himself after claiming he was the victim of a sexual assault.
He was treated at hospital where it was found he had sustained a brain injury.
In 2003 he was diagnosed with a schizophrenic illness and in 2011 was deemed unsuitable to live outside supported accommodation in the community.
He was sectioned in 2017 when he walked into traffic asking drivers to kill him and his mental health fluctuated over the last four years.
On the day he died staff at the supported accommodation where he lived noticed that he was unsettled having the previous day appeared unwell.
The inquest is expected to last until February 11th.