A police officer is under criminal investigation today after the death of a 27-year-old son of a prominent economist who was hit by an unmarked Sussex Police BMW.
Arthur Holscher-Ermert was on foot when the incident happened shortly after 11.10pm on Saturday evening and was confirmed dead at the scene on the A259 South Coast Road in Peacehaven, East Sussex.
Britain’s police watchdog said it informed the driver of the unmarked police car which hit Mr Holscher-Ermert that he was under criminal investigation for the offense of causing death by dangerous driving.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the unnamed officer, who is a police officer, will also be investigated for potential gross misconduct.
The IOPC Fund said it will decide at the end of its investigation whether to refer a case to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether the officer should be prosecuted. It could take up to six months.
The policeman was not arrested. A Sussex Police spokesperson said: ‘The officer has not performed duty since the incident and will be placed in restricted duties which are not accessible to the public pending the outcome of the investigation’ .
A video emerged this week that appeared to show the moment a police car mowed Arthur down. Officers were in pursuit of the amateur footballer when he abandoned his car and fled on foot. A Dashcam showed the moment BMW police punched Mr Holscher-Ermert as he tried to cross a road.
Witnesses said they saw officers handcuff Mr Holscher-Ermert as he lay face down in a pool of his own blood, screaming for help. A witness was heard shouting, “You killed the man, you killed the man.”
Professor Jens Holscher, Mr Holscher-Ermert’s father, said: ‘I am still in shock. They should have explained the circumstances, and I’m still not entirely clear what happened. Apparently there was a chase and we still don’t know if it was an accident.
Footage appears to show a police BMW hitting Arthur Holscher-Ermert as he attempted to cross a road. A police officer is currently the subject of a criminal investigation
Officers and emergency services near Dorothy Avenue in Peacehaven on Saturday around 11.10pm where they treated Arthur on the road. Witnesses claimed he was handcuffed
Arthur Holscher-Ermert (left) with his German-born father, Professor Jens Holscher (right), who is threatening to sue Sussex Police
The IOPC said it had so far gathered evidence that Mr Holscher-Emert was driving an Audi being chased by a police car after it was brought to the attention of officers in the Newhaven and Peacehaven area .
They said the chase ended on Bramber Avenue, where Mr Holscher-Ermert left the Audi and was struck moments later by another police vehicle.
The family is organizing a fundraiser for Arthur’s funeral
A family friend set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help cover the costs of Arthur’s funeral
A family friend set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to cover Arthur’s funeral costs.
In a message, Holly Horgan said: ‘Arthur was a much loved brother, son and friend who tragically lost his life at the hands of Sussex Police.
This fundraiser is to help with funds for Arthur’s funeral. All donations will be given to Karl.’
Writing on Facebook, Karl said: ‘A close friend of mine and Arthur set this up for us, I know a lot of people wanted to help with funeral costs and legal costs etc. donations that people wanted to make”.
IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said he would look into the events leading up to the collision and the actions of the police immediately afterward, including reports that handcuffs were used on Mr Holscher- Ermert at the scene.
He said: ‘It is important that we establish why Mr Holscher-Ermert was being pursued by the police, including what information, if any, the police had about him or the vehicle he was driving.
“We will also consider whether the officers’ actions thereafter complied with policy and procedure. This will include watching the follow up given to him.
“We know that handcuffs were applied to Mr. Holscher-Ermert at the scene and this will be part of our investigation.”
He said Mr Holscher-Ermert’s family had been informed and would meet with the IOPC Fund soon.
He added: “We understand the concern this incident has caused in the community and I want to reassure everyone that we will carry out a thorough and independent investigation to establish exactly what happened and why.”
The watchdog has reviewed dash cam footage of a member of the public who was driving in the area when the incident occurred and is also analyzing footage from the police cruiser involved in the collision as well as the video carried by the officers who arrived at the scene.
Investigators have also traveled to the area to locate any other CCTV footage that may be available and to conduct house-to-house inquiries to identify possible witnesses.
Mr Holscher-Ermert’s family threatened to sue Sussex Police and demanded a senior officer apologize for the death.
Video footage of the immediate aftermath of the incident appeared to show officers kneeling on Mr Holscher-Ermert’s back as he lay face down in the road – as a panicked onlooker shouted at officers: ‘You have killed the man, you killed the man.’ A second clip shows Mr. Holscher-Ermert on his back as an officer attempts CPR on the dying man.
A friend said he believed the police were chasing Mr Holscher-Ermert because he was driving without insurance. However, a video shows that he was kicked on foot.
Mr Holscher-Ermert’s older brother Karl claimed the 27-year-old was on his way to a nearby fast food restaurant when he was hit by the car. Other fFriends claimed he had been out for a burger at Big Mouths Burger Bar on South Coast Road when the incident happened.
Amateur footballer Arthur Holscher-Ermert, who died after being hit by an unmarked black BMW vehicle in Peacehaven
The 27-year-old was killed by the vehicle near the Dorothy Avenue junction in Peacehaven, East Sussex
Prof Holscher previously told MailOnline he had not received an apology from Sussex Police and said the IOPC Fund told him the officer driving the unmarked car had not been suspended from his duties. functions.
The head of Bournemouth University’s economics department was on vacation in France with his partner when he received a phone call early on Sunday from a policeman explaining that his son had died in an “accident”.
The German-born lecturer, 60, said: “It’s so hard to understand – I can’t believe it. I can’t understand what’s going on right now. We’re so disturbed – it’s my grandson and nothing is done.We believe there is serious misconduct on the part of the police and will take legal action immediately.
“We haven’t even had an apology – how low can you go? we want it [the officer responsible] removed from the street.’
Professor Holscher’s partner Sonia Drews, 68, said the IOPC Fund told them it would take six months to conclude their investigation, during which time there was ‘no reason’ to suspend the officer involved in the the death of Mr. Holscher-Ermert.
She said: ‘How can it take six months? Why not get the driver off the street? It is still in service. He should be suspended now so he can’t kill the next person, but he gets support from the police. He thinks he is right.
Ms Drews explained that Mr Holscher-Ermert and Karl grew up in Peacehaven and were well known to the community there. She said the amateur footballer was hopeful for the future and had saved up to buy a house with his partner.
“He was not 80 years old. He was 27 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. He was very happy. He had found a new girlfriend and they were saving for a house together. He had so many plans for the future,” she said.
“Even though he is no longer physically here, he will always be with us – when we come together and remember him, he will be there.
“When we got that phone call, we just wanted to wake up, go have breakfast and call Arthur to say, ‘We had a really bad dream, but we’re so glad you’re still here.
“We want justice. We know it won’t bring Arthur back – but it will keep the man responsible from thinking he’s right. He must apologize.