Family says police used racist code word for deceased teen

Sheldon Lewcock died after colliding with a van in Reading in August 2022 (Thames Valley Police)

Sheldon Lewcock died after colliding with a van in Reading in August 2022 (Thames Valley Police)

His mother claimed that a password police used to gain family access to their young relatives dying in hospital was racist.

In August 2022, 19-year-old Sheldon Lewcock was hit by a van in Tilehurst, Reading.

Police gave the code word “banana” to his mother, Angela Lewcock, to use when visiting her mulatto son at the hospital. The professional standards department of Thames Valley Police is now investigating the use of the word.

Sheldon Lewcock died five days after the accident. His mother told BBC That she is affectionately known as “Shelly”, who describes her “great personality” and “bad sense of humor”.

“He had a heart of gold, he never hurt anyone, he was always out on his bike… They used to go to Sulham Woods a lot because they had built secret ramps. They were there that day,” said Angela Lewcock.

Mr Lewcock was riding an electric bike on Pierce’s Hill when he was involved in a collision with a van on August 4, 2022. He managed to call his mother by saying her name several times. When she did Facetime with him, he saw that his face was covered in blood.

Ms. Lewcock rushed to the scene, holding her hand while the paramedics took care of her. She was later hospitalized and placed in an induced coma.

The private code given to the family allowed them to enter Sheldon’s room. “She had a password to visit my son, it was a banana, I hadn’t really thought about it at the time, and it wasn’t until I realized it was probably a racist comment. It’s disgusting,” he said. BBC.

A murder investigation was opened following his death but was quickly closed on August 17, 2022. Three men and a boy were acquitted of all charges.

An investigation was opened, but a cause of death could not be established. Sheldon’s mother was put off pending further investigation as she was frustrated by the inaction of the police.

On January 15, more than 100 of Sheldon’s family members and friends protested at Forbury Gardens Public Park in Reading before being moved to the police station. Things remained peaceful, with protesters holding banners reading “Justice for Sheldon” and “Shelly’s world”.

“We are conducting an investigation into the password used at the hospital. This has been referred to our professional standards department,” Thames Valley Police said in a statement.

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