The Powell family have held a candlelight vigil in memory of Mikey Powell who was killed in police custody in 2003. The vigil took place outside the Thornhill Road police station, Birmingham, West Midlands.
Mikey’s sister, Sieta Lambrias said; “On Sunday 11th September, a day many people were remembering there loved ones because of the 911 attacks in America, we were also remembering Mikey. This years candlelit vigil for Mikey’s 8th memorial was attended by many family and friends.
“We were also supported by new friends and old including members campaigning for justice for Smiley Culture, Ricky Bishop and Kingsley Burrell. As always the vigil was conducted in a personable and dignified manner. A number of people spoke to share stories and personal experiences. the vigil also attracted the attention of passers by who seemed genuinely interested in our cause for justice.
“What was quite heartening was although the inquest was 2 years ago and work has been going on behind the scenes, the interest in our campaign does not appear to have dwindled. A really moving and heartfelt evening for all, leaving us with the thought that next year we’ll have to bring just a few more candles”.
Mikey died after police knocked him down with a patrol car, 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.
In the run up to the vigil the campaign reported that the The IPCC are to independently investigate a complaint by Claris Powell, made following the jury’s verdict at the Inquest into the death of her son in a police van on the way to a police station.
The IPCC made this decision on 27th May 2011, after Claris Powell threatened to judicially review their decision to allow West Midlands Police themselves to investigate the complaint against their own officers. Read more here.
The IPCC have also upheld the appeal of Mikey’s mother against the refusal of the West Midlands Police Authority to record her complaint against the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police. On 16 June 2011 the IPCC directed the Police Authority to record the complaint. The Police Authority should now investigate it. Read more here.
provided by Tippa Naphtali
19th September 2011
Mikey Powell’s family struggle on
By Harmit Athwal 15th September 2011