If you have seen a video of a police officer attempting to arrest a criminal suspect before, then you know that at some point in the action the officer is going to be on top of the suspect in one way or another.

But you would typically expect that not to be a cause of death.

Contrary to this expectation was an incident in Japan in which a police officer accidentally killed a woman by sitting on top of her.

Fat cop

The incident happened in Sakai (Osaka Prefecture) on November 9, 2012, when a 100 kg police officer was trying to subdue an out-of-control woman.

According to the police, at about 7:00 a.m. on that day the local police received a disorderly conduct call about a woman throwing things and screaming. The reportedly heavyset policeman rushed to the scene with fellow officers and found that the woman was still out of order.

The police officers pinned the woman to the ground in an attempt to subdue her when the heavyset policeman assisted by sitting on the woman’s back. Soon after, the woman lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital. She died of hypoxia-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) five days later.

A formal investigation is now in progress to determine whether the large police used excessive force in this incident, and a charge of “professional negligence resulting in the death of a suspect” was filed with prosecutors.