The Friends of Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice was established by the family of Michael Lloyd Powell (known as Mikey), a cousin of the renowned poet and writer, Benjamin Zephaniah, following his tragic death whilst in the custody of West Midlands Police. Mikey was 38 years old and a father of three young children.
He was fit but had suffered several short episodes of mental illness from which he had recovered. One of these episodes occurred on 7 September 2003. Police had previously dealt appropriately with one and were called again this time.
This is what happened this time around:
Officers drove a police car at Mikey, hitting him, beat him with a baton, CS gassed him, restrained him and, knowing he was injured, drove him to a police station not a hospital.
The community was outraged and angry that this could happen so suddenly to a law abiding citizen. This was reflected in a packed public meeting held in September 2003, and a march to Thornhill Road police station in November 2003. Over 500 people attended the protest and hundreds more lined the route.
Mikey’s family and friends established a campaign in his name to express concern with the high rate of custody deaths in the United Kingdom. The Powell family demands that openness; transparency and police cooperation should be at the very heart of investigations into deaths in custody.
About The National Mikey Powell Memorial Family Fund
The purpose of the Mikey Powell Memorial Family Fund is to ensure that families or their campaign groups across the UK can get access to small grants to provide practical domestic assistance, to further the work of their own campaigns or assist them in engaging in other local, regional or national campaigns, events and initiatives.