Benjamin Zephaniah to attend cousins inquest

Dr Benjamin ZephaniahFamily announcement:
29th November 2009

Poet and writer, Dr Benjamin Zephaniah, took time out of his hectic schedule to attend the inquest of his cousin Mikey Powell, who died whilst in police custody.

Zephaniah will be attending on Wednesday 2nd December 2009, and invites the press and other interested parties to attend a press conference with himself and other members of the family and legal team.

The inquest into the death of Mikey Powell commenced on 4th November 2009. It is scheduled to run until 16th December 2009. at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, Birmingham, West Midlands.

Mikey was detained outside his mother’s house in the Lozells area of Birmingham on 7th September 2003. He was taken to Thornhill Road Police station.  He died at some point during his detention. Mikey was much loved and respected.  He was 38 years old and the father of three young children.

In an interview with The Guardian Newspaper in August 2006 Zepahniah said: “Earlier this week six officers were cleared of battery or of failing to treat Mikey with due care and attention. Of course, Mikey is by no means the first black person to have died in police custody. I can recite a terrible litany of such deaths, including Joy Gardner, Shiji Lapite, Brian Douglas and Wayne Douglas, all of whom died after being “restrained with the minimum necessary force.

“Unbelievably, one police chief suggested that there had been so many black deaths in custody because black people had weak necks. Over the past 30 years, more than 1,000 people have died in Britain in police custody. In that time, only two officers have been convicted as a result.

“Back in 1969 David Oluwale was found dead in the River Aire. The judge ordered the jury not to find two Leeds policemen guilty of manslaughter. In the end, both officers were found guilty of assault and of urinating on Oluwale while he slept in the doorway of a shop. The officers who killed Charles de Menezes on the tube are already back at work”.

The inquest is being heard by HM Coroner (Assistant Deputy Campbell) for Birmingham.

3 thoughts on “Benjamin Zephaniah to attend cousins inquest

  1. Best wishes to the family of Mikey Powell in their quest for answers and some kind of justice.

    Unfortunately, we have a system that tends to always close ranks and look after those within it.

    Nonetheless, that should never be a deterrent for seeking Truth and Justice.

    Caul Grant

  2. Every time I think about this case and hear more of the details it makes me feel physically sick so I can only imagine how Mikey’s family and friends must feel. The fact that no one was ever convicted astounds me. I just hope that this public inquiry has an impact on the way the police treat people during arrest and in custody. If an animal was treated like this, people would have lots to say and I just think it’s about time we all stood up for what is right and not allow the police to do whatever they please.

  3. The great legend Bob Marley wrote “Get Up Stand Up, Stand Up For Your Rights, Get Up Stand Up, Don’t Give Up The Fight” … on behalf of Mikey and all other’s before and to come … we Can’t Give Up The Fight. The Fight for Justice to be done is the natural right of all those who have been mistreated in society and all those affected by their mistreatment countless of whom continue to struggle and suffer in the timeless quest for truth and fairness.

    “We are often the ‘Voice of the Voiceless’ with too much unheard when we cry, we don’t want to legacy leave it
    when guilty is left here to lie”.

    My heart goes out to Mikey’s family & friends at this time along with all other’s in the world searching for answers to gain peace of mind, truth, justice, freedom & fairness.

    Love & Prayers
    Yaz Alexander

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