A man died on a pavement surrounded by shoppers after police were filmed pinning him to the ground and pushing down his head.
The horror scene unfolded yesterday lunchtime when plain clothes police officers got out of an unmarked van and chased a middle-aged male down Midland Road near the Roman Catholic church.
The man, named locally as Carl Brunner, was suspected of possessing drugs.
An eye witness took a video with his phone as officers restrained the man, urging him to “Spit it out”.
The witness claimed: “They brought him to the ground. They had their knees on his back and were holding him down.”
He said the suspect was in his 50s and did not seem capable of running away anyway.
Another witnesses claimed police appeared to smash the man’s head down onto the pavement, and one officer had his hands around the suspect’s throat.
The man lost consciousness and his head appeared to slump to one side. Blood stains could afterwards be seen on the pavement.
Officers then attempted to give first aid and an ambulance was called. Sadly the man was pronounced dead.
Today Bedfordshire police issued a statement to announce they have referred themselves to the IPCC for investigation.
A police spokesman said: “A man became unwell in Midland Road at approximately 12.35pm. First aid was given at the scene by police officers and the ambulance service also attended, however the man was sadly pronounced dead.”
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Collins told the T&C: “First and foremost I would like to say that our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of the man at this tragic time.
“We immediately referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commisssion, as is procedure when a person dies who has been in recent contact with the police. An IPCC independent investigation is now underway which we will be fully cooperating with, and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further.”