from Birmingham Post
6th November 2009
A witness has described seeing a police car run into a man who later died in police custody.
Michael Powell died six years ago in a prison cell at Thornhill Road Police Station after being arrested for smashing windows and violent behaviour outside his family home in Lozells.
His family have maintained that heavy-handed behaviour on the part of police prior to his death was racially motivated.
Speaking at an inquest into his death Ernest Walters, a family friend who was dating Mr Powell’s sister, said he saw the 38-year-old standing in front of a police car when it revved its engine and ran him over, causing him to be flipped up on to the bonnet of the car before rolling off the roof.
Mr Walters said he had arrived at the the family’s home at about midnight on September 6, 2003, and had become suspicious when he saw Mr Powell walking away from the property which had a broken front window. He saw that he had blood on his shirt and a belt with a large metal buckle wrapped around his hand.