from the Mikey Powell Campaign
18th December 2009
The family and supporters of Mikey Powell have spoken of their relief following a damning jury verdict that he was killed in police custody.
Mikey died on 7th September 2003 after police attended his mothers home in Lozells, Birmingham because Mikey had smashed windows at the home whilst suffering a breakdown. Mikey was run down by a police car and was injured but survived the collision. The inquest heard that a family friend held him in a bear hug to try and prevent further trouble.
However the police discharged more than four times the recommended amount of CS spray on both Mikey and his friend, and hit him with a police baton. Up to eight officers held him down on the ground for at least 16 minutes and then took him to a police station and not a hospital.
Mikey’s sister Sieta Lambrias said: “At long last the truth has come out – we have worked for six years to reach this point – the jury have found that the position the police put Mikey in killed him. Hopefully this will give some encouragement to other families who have lost someone in custody.
“A chilling feature of this Inquest is that Mikey died in police hands. Officer after officer told the Court that they would do the same thing again. Most expressed no regret for Mikey’s death. We are alarmed about this, and think the community should be too. We will continue to fight to secure police accountability and stop future custody deaths.”
Tippa Naphtali (Mikey’s cousin) said: “In our victory we acknowledge the distress and plight of the many families in the UK that have suffered a similar injustice. We continue to work in solidarity and support through the friends of Mikey Powell Campaign, 4WardEver UK, United Families & Friends Campaign, INQUEST and many more organisations and individuals too numerous to mention here.
“In our joy of this verdict we remain without our loved Mikey, his children have lost a father, his mother and father a son, his family a brother and cousin; and the community a fine and upstanding honourable man.”
Jane Deighton, the family solicitor, said: “Tribute should be paid to Mikey’s remarkable family who, devastated by Mikey’s death, have fought for six distressing years to get to the truth and to hold those responsible to account.”