INQUEST Press Release: Jury Find Police Restraint Killed Mikey Powell

INQUESTPRESS RELEASE

For immediate release 18 December 2009
(updated Pt3 ‘Jury Findings’ – 09 Jan 2010)

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The jury at the inquest into the controversial death in police custody in 2003 of Michael Lloyd Powell (known as Mikey) today returned a damning narrative verdict and found that the way that he was restrained resulted in his death from positional asphyxia (see below).

The inquest opened on 4 November 2009, over six years after his death in September 2003 and was heard at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall before HM Assistant Deputy Coroner for Birmingham, Stephen Campbell.

The inquest heard that Mikey Powell died after being detained by West Midlands Police on 7 September 2003.  He was 38, had three children and worked as a team leader in a local metal factory and was at the time living with his mother. He had been unwell, suffering a mental ill health episode and smashed a window at their home. His mother called the police for help, assuming they would take him to hospital.

When the officers arrived they did not help. After Mikey broke a window in their car the officers then drove away and then came back driving straight at him as fast as they could.  They claimed they believed he had a gun, which he did not. During the inquest his family’s legal representatives challenged the officers as the family suspected that the officers had arrived at their home with preset fears about their area and their community.

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5 thoughts on “INQUEST Press Release: Jury Find Police Restraint Killed Mikey Powell

  1. This has made history and the family have been exceptional. My congratulations goes out to them the solicitors and all the family supporters.

    Some people would like to make this about race but it is bigger, this was about the hundreds of black and white people who have died in police custody over the years and not one officer had ever been convicted of any offence.

    The battle has been hard and long just as it was for the Lawrence family.

    Special thanks to Yvonne Mosquito who courageously supported the family when she was on the Police Committee, she never highlighted this but many people know and its probably why they had to get rid off her!

  2. As a lifelong family friend of the Powell’s I have seen the pain and despair such a tragic death can have on a family. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t happen to you, and when it does there is no handbook to deal with it only pain, disgust and the overwhelming urge to remain dignified in the face of such an INJUSTICE.

    Young and old need to be united in their communities and understand that the police, are ultimately there to protect themselves when a tragic death happens on their shift.

    The public forget that they are human too and can go to work and have a bad day, but the consequences are much greater than getting the stats wrong in an office job.

    There are no apologies and families have to fight for the right to know how their sons, daughters their loved ones have died, while politicians squander public money on duck moats and lavish dinners because they can.

    This fight belongs not just to the families like the Powell’s or Stephen Lawrence’s but you too. Our communities should be policed by those who want to, not those that resent the fact they have to be there. It’s our job to root out the rogue officers and let the decent ones do the job they are supposed to.

    We remeber Mikey Powell, and God bless the Powell family for fighting the fight. You have opened doors.

    Michelle

  3. Congratulations to those who have fought to bring out the truth and to press for police accountability. Condolences to the family and friends of Michael Powell who would not have had to go through this if the police had treated Mr. Powell as a patient, not a felon.

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