400 expected for East London funeral of man who died in police custody

Hundreds of mourners and supporters are expected to turn up this-morning for the funeral in London’s East End of a man who died in police custody—handcuffed to a hospital trolley.

The family of 38-year-old Michael Sweeney are expecting 400 people from all over Essex and East London when the funeral procession sets off from his home at Talwin Street in Bromley-by-Bow at 10.30am.

His body was released on Friday—four weeks after he was arrested by officers who were called to Bethnal Green’s Approach Tavern on April 18.

“I’ve received his medical report which says he was brought into the A&E and was handcuffed to a trolley,” his niece Lisa Bishop told the East London Advertiser.

“He was held face down on a bed with seven officers laying over him.

“Michael had to be resuscitated—but died in hospital in police custody.”

The family are demanding an inquiry into his “heavy handed” treatment at the Royal London that night.

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“People in the pub said he was stressed out,” Lisa added. “But pub staff told us he had calmed down before the police arrived.

“Police were very heavy handed. They handcuffed him laying face down.”

She described Michael as fit, who ran the London Marathon twice, regularly jogged in Victoria Park, didn’t smoke and had never been ill.