How the police killed Mikey Powell

Mikey Powellfrom The Tribune
27th March 2010

A family of a black man who lost his life in police custody are campaigning to make sure that no one else has to suffer the six years of hell that they have endured trying to hold a local police authority to account.

The family of Mikey Powell have worked with the coroner to produce a list of actions they believe should be circulated to police and health authorities throughout the West Midlands and the whole country so that any restraint during arrest is appropriate, and officers give proper regard to family members and friends who may hold vital information about a person’s medical condition.

They also want to ensure that people with potential mental health problems are taken to a hospital rather than a police station for the correct supervision.

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Inquests fail to restrain the police

Police Officers On Dutyfrom the Mikey Powell Campaign
9th January 2010

The following is the full unedited version of an article written by Simon Hattenstone.

Simon Hattenstone is a writer for the Guardian, and the following article has been produced on this site with his consent.


See version published on The Guardian website >
(originally published: 27th December 2009)

Last Friday an inquest reached a shocking conclusion, though you’d be hard pressed to have heard about it. In a damning narrative verdict, the jury concluded that Mikey Powell had died from positional asphyxia following police restraint.

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Family weep as verdict returned

Clarissa Powell (Mother)from Birmingham Mail
15th December 2009

The family of a man who died in police custody wept tears of joy as they claimed that an inquest had given them “truth and justice”. The jury at the hearing found that Michael Powell died from positional asphyxia caused by lying on his front in the back of a police van.

The jury also recorded that Mr Powell, aged 38, became more vulnerable to death for one or more possible reasons. They included being hit by a moving police car, being sprayed with CS gas, being struck by a baton or being restrained on the ground while suffering a psychosis and extreme exertion.

It took the ten-man jury three days to reach an eight-to-two majority verdict. They could not agree on whether the police restraint was “reasonable in the circumstances”.

The father-of-three died on September 7, 2003, at the age of 38.

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