Sarah Reed, Victim of Police Brutality, Found Dead in London Prison

February 3, 2016 Updated: February 3, 2016

The woman whose assault at the hands of police was caught on camera was found dead in her prison cell while awaiting trial.

Sarah Reed, 32, was in Holloway prison in London awaiting trial for assault after being arrested in a hospital following an altercation—family members said she was acting in self-defense, and that she was the victim of an attempted rape.

Family members told liaison Lee Jasper that Reed suffered from severe mental health issues but was denied treatment for her condition.

Prison officials informed them that Reed had “strangled herself while lying on her bed.”

“The obvious fact that Sarah was ill meant that placing her in the criminal justice system without recourse to the medical help she clearly needed was an unforgivable act of brutality and cruelty,” Jasper wrote in a blog post.

“I am told that throughout her time on remand Sarah never received any medication. This would have constituted a living hell for someone whose life had been marred with personal tragedy, mental ill health and police brutality.”

A prison service spokesperson said Reed was “found unresponsive in her cell.”

“Prison staff attempted CPR, but she was pronounced dead shortly after,” the spokesperson added to the Guardian.

But family members told Jasper that prison officials informed them that Reed had “strangled herself while lying on her bed,” which they believe to be impossible. 

Relatives also claimed they weren’t allowed to see the body.

Relatives also claimed they weren’t allowed to see the body.

Reed became well-known across the United Kingdom and elsewhere after footage emerged of a police officer punching her and throwing her to the ground after she was caught shoplifting at a Uniqlo store in November 2012.

James Kiddie, the officer, was later dismissed and also sentenced to 150 hours of community service.