The Metropolitan Police has reversed its decision to accept an offer of resignation from an officer involved in the restraint of Sean Rigg, who died in custody.
Senior arresting officer PC Andrew Birks was set to quit on Sunday.
PC Birks was the senior arresting officer in the retention of Sean Rigg, 40, a musician from Tooting, who died in Brixton police station in August 2008 following a prolonged police restraint.
When the officer's resignation was initially accepted, Mr Rigg's family said they were livid and would take legal action if he was allowed to quit.
However, after intervention from police watchdog the IPCC and the decision by Mr Rigg’s sister Marcia Rigg-Samuel to take legal action, the deputy commissioner, has reversed an earlier decision to accept PC Birks resignation. He has also been suspended while the disciplinary process is carried out.
Sean Rigg, who had schizophrenia, died after being restrained following an attack on a man in Balham. He died from cardiac arrest.
His family are calling on the commissioner to suspend other key officers involved.
They are also calling on the Home Secretary to legislate to make it clear that as a general rule officers under disciplinary investigation are unable to retire or resign pending the outcome of investigations or proceedings and there are clear sanctions where this does occur.
Marcia Rigg-Samuel said: “The Rigg family is relieved that the commissioner has seen sense to suspend PC Birks and reverse his resignation, so that he can face disciplinary investigations, and possible gross misconduct charges depending on what is found.
“The Commissioner should now take the opportunity to suspend all the other key officers including the custody sergeant to ensure all comply with the independent disciplinary investigation by the IPCC.
Mr Rigg's family at his inquest
“Our family now calls on the government to change the law so that other families do not have to threaten court action to stop officers resigning to avoid being held to account.”
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Service said: “This is a unique set of circumstances.
"In light of the public interest in this case, the need for public confidence in the accountability of police officers and in the interests of allowing a full reinvestigation to be most effectively carried out the MPS has now suspended the officer.
“What is important now is that there is a full and thorough investigation.
"There has been much speculation and debate about the actions of all the officers involved in this case, only through this new investigation can the actual facts of what took place be established based on evidence.
“The officer has given assurances, via his legal representative, that he would fully cooperate with any new investigation by the IPCC.”