Jurors hear emergency phone call

Iphonefrom Birmingham Mail
11th December 2009

A dramatic emergency phone call of police requesting an ambulance for a 38-year-old Birmingham man who died after being arrested has been played to inquest jurors.

A female officer was heard to describe father-of-three Michael Powell in the recording as “unconscious” having earlier been “uncooperative” and “going mad”. He had been arrested by police in a violent struggle in which he was sprayed with CS gas outside his mother, Clarissa Powell’s home in Lozells, in September 2003.

Mr Powell was then taken to Thornhill Road Police Station, in Handsworth, where the officer calls for paramedics. Mr Powell, who police claimed to have believed could have been armed with a gun, died after being arrested.

The tape of the phone call was heard at yesterday’s hearing at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall. It was played in response to an earlier request from the jury. In the recording, the officer, who refers to herself as COA (Custody Office Assistant) Williams, calmly tells the ambulance service call handler: “We’ve just had a male brought in. He’s in his mid-30s. He was uncooperative. He’s unconscious, basically.”

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