from Birmingham Post
6th November 2009
The sister of a Birmingham man who died in police custody has spoken about her brother’s health and the behaviour of police officers the night he was arrested.
Sharon Powell said her 38-year-old brother Michael was a “loving, family man” and despite a history of mental illness he was “fit, well and healthy”. Michael Powell died in a prison cell at Thornhill Road Police Station in Handsworth after being arrested for smashing windows and damaging his mother’s home in Wilton Road, Lozells, in September 2003.
His family have maintained that the police’s heavy handed behaviour during the arrest was racially motivated and he would have been treated differently had he been white.
During the inquest held at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall into Mr Powell’s death, it emerged that the father-of-three had a history of mental episodes which included being found on a roof and being treated by a mental health team at his home in September, 1999.