Harrowing footage showing the final moments of Mzee Mohammed, who died after being detained by police and security guards, has been shown to an inquest into his death.
Terrified, sweating profusely and carrying a knife for some of the time, Mzee, 18, sprinted around Liverpool city centre in the grip of a psychotic episode before collapsing behind the counter of a fast food kiosk in Liverpool ONE shopping centre, on the afternoon of July 13, 2016.
A jury inquest, which began yesterday at Liverpool Coroner’s Court, heard Mzee had been behaving strangely in the hours before his death, telling his dad Clement Daley that ‘police and the white men’ were trying to kill him.
An inquest into the death of Mzee Mohammed, 18, began yesterday at Liverpool Coroner’s Court. Mzee died from an ‘intense period of physical exhaustion’, after he was caught in the grips of a psychotic episode at the Liverpool ONE shopping centre on July 13, 2016
Footage of Mzee shows the teenager wielding a kitchen knife and moving through shops in a panicked state on July 13, 2016. The court has heard that Mzee was said to have behaved strangely in the hours before his death, telling his dad that ‘police and the white men’ were trying to kill him
Mzee died after a period of ‘physical exhaustion’, witnesses have told the court. Police can be seen restraining a motionless Mzee. He died just hours later at the Royal Liverpool Hospital
Upsetting footage shows a motionless Mzee on his front with his head to the side, with both his hands cuffed behind his back.
After several minutes he is loaded onto a stretcher, still handcuffed, and taken into a waiting ambulance.
He was pronounced dead at the Royal Liverpool Hospital at 7.52pm that night, having suffered a cardiac arrest which a pathologist described as having followed a period of ‘intense physical exertion’.
Mzee, pictured here brandishing a knife at the shopping centre, had been diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). His mother added that he was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after he was stabbed 14 times by a group of white youths in 2014
The teenager’s mother, Karla Mohammed, has told the court that Mzee, pictured here with his sister Melissa, had not been taking his medication regularly in the lead up to the incident
The young man, seen here during the incident, eventually collapsed at the bottom of the steps leading to the food court and cinema
His mental health deteriorated and he was recorded on CCTV cameras running through the city centre, holding the kitchen knife.
Senior coroner for Liverpool and Wirral Andre Rebello held a moment’s silence in memory of Toxteth-born Mzee.
He told the jury of seven men and four women: ‘Mzee was 18 years old when he died. He was an ordinary person, with an ordinary family, just like me and you…
‘Mzee was in the Liverpool ONE shopping centre on July 13, 2016. He had been behaving in a strange manner and appeared mentally unwell.
‘He had a knife in his hand for some of the time. You may agree that he appeared to be evading something or someone. He eventually collapsed at the bottom of the steps leading up the food court and the cinema.
‘You will make your own minds up as to what’s happening there. To me it was soul-destroying seeing anybody’s 18-year-old son with autism and Asperger’s, desperate, exhausted.’
The inquest heard Mzee, who was a sports student at the time of his death, had been diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and was on a number of medications.
In an undated image, one of Mzee’s friends can be seen laying a floral tribute outside the Liverpool ONE shopping centre
His mum, Karla Mohammed, told the hearing he had also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after he was stabbed and slashed 14 times by a gang of ‘white lads’ in 2014.
She said Mzee had taken to carrying a knife, as he was in fear they would come to ‘finish him off’, and she would often search for him when he went out.
The hearing heard Mzee did not appear to have been taking his medication regularly in the weeks before his death.
On the morning of July 13, Mzee had left his mum’s house in Kensington, Liverpool, to go and see his dad.
However, that afternoon Mr Daley phoned Ms Mohammed to say: ‘I can see fear in my boy’s eyes, something is not right.’
Ms Mohammed described ordering a Delta taxi for Mzee, but when it arrived Mr Daley said his son was no longer in the house and appeared to have escaped through a window.
Mr Daley, Mzee’s father, said that he saw ‘fear in my boy’s eyes’ on the morning of the incident. Mzee is pictured here without shoes or socks on in one of the shops
She called the mental health crisis team at Royal Liverpool Hospital, who advised taking Mzee into A&E, and she also contacted Merseyside Police.
DC Sean Cloherty of Lancashire Constabulary and Russ McDermott, an Independent Office for Police Conduct inspector, traced Mzee’s movements in the following half-hour that afternoon, talking the jury through a timeline.
The inquest is expected to hear from a large number of witnesses and is estimated to last four weeks.