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Man dies while in police custody in Tokyo

23 Comments

The Tokyo metropolitan police said Wednesday that a man died while in police custody at a police station in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward.

According to police, the 30-year-old man was found collapsed on the ground, convulsing uncontrollably in west Shinjuku at around 6 p.m. on May 25. TBS reported that police were alerted and they came to the scene along with emergency medical personnel. The man continued to twitch and appeared unable to move, police said.

Police said they decided to tie the man's hands and feet and wrap him in a protective mat, after which they took him into custody. Approximately 30 minutes afterwards, the man's condition became worse and he was transported to the hospital, TBS reported. The man died on Tuesday at around 5:30 p.m.

Police said they will launch an investigation into the cause of death as well as whether or not there were any problems with the manner in which police officers handled the situation.

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23 Comments
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Why didn't the police call the ambulance straight away rather than tying him up? They are definitely responsible for his death

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Of course there were problems with how the police handled the situation. You see someone convulsing, you call an ambulance!! Duh. If worried about illegal drugs or whatnot you have an officer accompany said ambulance whiile transporting the victim to a hospital where doctors could be able to figure out what is wrong.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

"TBS reported that police were alerted and they came to the scene along with emergency medical personnel."

Seems that they did but took him into custody rather than sending him to hospital.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This happens far to often with the Japanese police. Being restrained can lead to death regardless off whether male or female. And no-one ever seems to be called to account over these deaths.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mirai.

Did actually read the article?

TBS reported that police were alerted and they came to the scene along with emergency medical personnel.

. Approximately 30 minutes afterwards, the man’s condition became worse and he was transported to the hospital,

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Any news on if this was a foreigner or a Japanese person? My thoughts are with his family...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It"S ME

Police said they decided to tie the man’s hands and feet and wrap him in a protective mat, after which they took him into custody.

This suggests that he was not taken to the hospital for medical treatment right away. It also says that the POLICE tied him up. I doubt that a medical crew would allow the police to tie up a man who is having convulsions, unless they are just as incompetent. The bottom line is that they treated him like a criminal first rather than a person who needs serious medical attention which was totally the wrong thing to do. The police are responsible for his death.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The police officers should be arrested and charged with attempting to do medicine without a medical license. This was clearly a MEDICAL emergency. The guy wasn't endangering anyone else, wasn't breaking any laws, and this wasn't in any way a police matter.

Despite this the police decided that they were qualified to make a medical assessment, determine a "treatment" (how tying someone up and wrapping them in a mat seemed like I good idea I really cannot guess), and then decided that they were so qualified that they didn't need to call any emergency medical services.

Clearly they were wrong, since this guy died. If any other citizen had done this, administered medical treatment in a non-life threatening scenario, and failed to call an ambulance, and the patient had died, then the police would have arrested them in a heartbeat.

Fair play. Arrest the police officers.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Why was the man taken into police custody? Since when did collapsing or having a convulsion become against the law?

Police said they will launch an investigation into the cause of death as well as whether or not there were any problems with the manner in which police officers handled the situation.

I can already answer that. The cause of death clearly appears to be a lack of suffiencient medical attention. There seem to be many problems with the way the police officers handled the situation, begining with the fact that they were 'handling' the situation in the first place.

Very scary story.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Madness that no one with a brain will ever understand, why tie up some one who is found collapsed and convulsing, this is not a crime obviously, so no need to take them into custody, why not transport them to hospital for correct and accurate diagnosis ?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

i'm a little puzzled... so, someone found this guy on the street.. apparently, emergency medical personnel were there upon a phone call... Japanese news says that the medical personnel didn't see anything wrong so they let the police to take him... but my question is... if they couldn't figure out what was wrong, and the guy was still twitching, why were they not taking him to a hospital to have him checked up? was there an assumption that he was doing some sort of drug? and was that why he was taken to the police and not hospital?

chances are, that he might have been doing drug, but there are also chances that perhaps he was just plain sick...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

...unless they are just as incompetent.

I bet that is just it.

Are police in Japan not trained in basic medical assistance? First Aid, CPR and such? There lack of assessing the situation correctly is troubling to say the least. This guy should have been taken care of directly by competent personnel, something that seems to be missing in the Shinjuku PD

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The emergency medical personnel in Japan are nothing but taxi drivers. Japan does not allow them to administer medications so basically they are just transporters. I was actually shocked to find out that the EMT's here could do nothing to save a person because they can not have drugs on the ambulance. What good is emergency medical personnel who can not administer medication on the spot to save a life?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I really really hope I never get arrested and/or need emergency medical treatment in this country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The emergency medical personnel in Japan are nothing but taxi drivers.

Actually, this is an oversimplification. Ambulances in Japan have equipment such as medical ventilators, defibrillators, incubation and other necessary equipment. Basic ambulance crews in countries such as the US cannot break the skin or give medications either in general. In Japan, an ambulance crew member must get special qualifications to administer adrenalin.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ It"S ME

Did YOU actually read the article?

Why was he taken into custody and THEN taken to a hospital? Seems to me he should have gone to the hospital first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SaitamaRefuge.

I did read it. Most likely the Cops did it after they got the OK from the emergency medical Team?

Do you think that the Police can go against their advice. If they got the OK are they still guilty?

I use my noggin and don't just post anti- rants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He was fitting and they tied his hands and waited before calling an ambulance?! These officers should be prosecuted, it's manslaughter. Don't they have first aid training, or common sense?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Almost all ambulance staff (in Japan)have no idea about emergency trauma treatments. In Australia/NZ they are highly trained medical professionals. The police were too focused on a crime rather than a medical emergency... Bound hand and foot, wrapped in a blanket, while convulsing and thrashing around a Boy Scout knows more about what to do then these "Emergency" personal. So far to go to reach a level matching 1980.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@It"S ME

...umm yeah, of course they can go against anyone's ADVICE.

Eitherway they are guilty. Perhaps things are missing from the story, but a man had collapsed and was convulsing in Shinjuku and the police's response is, "hey lets arrest him, cuz something seems wrong." Are you kidding me? You gotta be. Police, at least in theory are to keep the public safe, how does this in any way contribute to that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese news says that the medical personnel didn't see anything wrong

If by medical personnel you mean the guys who drive the ambulance, then yes, this doesnt surprise me at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It"s me, the story says the man was twitching and unable to move when the police and medical team arrived. His condition deteriorated from "twitching and unable to move" to not moving at all. Surely the twitching and unable to move stage requires something other than being arrested, having your hands and feet tied and being wrapped up in a blanket and banged up in the local plod shop. There are those who might view someone lying on the ground, convulsing, twitching and otherwise not moving as some form of medical emergency. Some people view medical emergencies as requiring medical treatment. It's not really down to racism. But then again, if a medical team doesn't view someone lying on the ground, convulsing and twitching as a potential medical problem, there is an additional failing here obviously.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So what, rolling up people in blankets is their thing, or what? To be honest, I feel that the Japanese police force has a lot to learn. Police everywhere make mistakes, but these guys don't seem able to learn from their mistakes. Possibly because of the old and tired sempai/kohai mentality suffocating individual thinking and actions. I can just picture this scene in front of me, with the older cop (probably only one) telling the younger ones what is the right thing to according to their memorized manual or whatever they go by. I bet more than one person was thinking that restraining a man clearly in need of medical attention seemed weird, but I also bet they are to chicken to speak the hell up and ask the clown responsible for this action to step aside. Pragmatism is not what defines the Japanese society, exactly.

In any case, I wish for guilty parties to be punished accordingly, although I have come to learn not to expect that to happen here. Nobody deserves to die because of incompetent officials...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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