Ronaldo Johnson: Family statement following Coroner’s Inquest


At the end of the Coroner’s Inquest on 26th March 2024, Ronaldo’s family says:

Ronaldo Johnson – known to many as Ron or Uncle Dodo – was a shy boy who was well loved by his peers. He was a boy of very few words but when he spoke he was honest, extremely wise or very funny. At 16 he became his nephew’s official carer, a role he took on with pride. Ron was patient, kind, caring, strong, loving, passionate and dedicated to caring for others. He lit up any room he entered. 

Ron is bitterly missed by his heartbroken family, friends and wider community.

Ron was the back seat passenger in a car which collided with a taxi after being pursued by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on 31st March 2021. He died from his injuries in hospital on Tuesday 6th April 2021.

Not only has his family endured a devastating loss, they have had to fight every step of the way to get the truth of what happened.

Ron’s family have been made to wait 3 years for an Inquest, for which they were only granted a half day. They have been met with restrictions, roadblocks and a lack of transparency and complete lack of empathy and care throughout this process. We feel it is unjust that the coroner refused to grant an Article 2 inquest – which takes place when the state and/or its agents have failed to protect someone’s right to life.

We believe that GMP failed in their ‘duty of care’. The APP guidelines dictate that they have a responsibility to prioritise the preservation of life, the prevention of injuries and public safety. The pursuing officer confirmed that his priority was apprehending and pursuing a suspect. His decision, by his own admission, was based on limited information, no knowledge of the car being linked with any criminal activity (besides allegedly running a red light) and a lack of certainty or awareness of occupants in the car and injuries. We believe the responsibility to prioritise the preservation of life was breached and totally disregarded. 

Article 2 would also have enabled a ‘Prevention of Future Deaths’ report. Given the coroner’s refusal to do this, his refusal to grant a narrative conclusion and refusal to acknowledge that Ron’s death occurred in the context of a police pursuit lead us to be concerned by the thwarting of learnings out of this process and we’re deeply concerned about future lives being lost as a result.

Losing Ron has devastated his family, friends, loved ones and the community. We are fighting for justice for Ronaldo and will continue to fight for him. We ask you to support the Ronaldo Thierry Johnson Foundation. We are also working collectively with other families who have lost their loved ones in high-risk, unnecessary police pursuits. We do not want to see another life lost and invite you to support the #EndPolicePursuits campaign.