17 January 2001 


Thursday 18th January 7:30p.m - 9:30p.m

Tottenham Police Station

The family and friends of Roger Sylvester are holding a vigil outside Tottenham Police Station on the 18th January 2001. Roger died two years ago and his family still does not know how or why he died. The CPS has recently informed Roger’s family that all the officers involved in restraining and detaining Roger will not face prosecution, a decision the family will seek to challenge.


Sunday 21st January 2001 at 4.30pm

Finsbury Park Methodist Church, Wilberforce Rd, London. N4.

In loving memory of their son, Roger’s family will be holding a memorial service at the Finsbury Park Methodist Church. His friends and family will be paying tribute to Roger’s short life.

Notes for Editors:

Roger Sylvester was a 30-year old healthy black man who lived in Tottenham. He came from a large and loving family and had numerous friends. He worked as an administration officer for a drop-in mental health centre and was well loved by colleagues and service users alike. On the night of 11th January 1999, Roger was restrained by eight Metropolitan Police Officers outside his home in Tottenham. The police informed the family that he was restrained `for his own safety’. They also said he had not been violent towards the police or anybody else. Within 45 minutes he had sustained numerous injuries and remained in a coma, effectively dead until his life support machine was switched off seven days later.

His family will challenge the Crown Prosecution Service decision not to prosecute the officers involved in Roger’s detention. This is despite the fact that the CPS has agreed that his detention was unlawful and that Roger ‘on the balance of probabilities’ died from ‘positional asphyxia’. In the family’s view the officers’ actions were at the very least negligent.