Two families will hold demonstrations this weekend following the deaths of loved ones in police custody.
The first, on Saturday 2 July will see the family of 29-year-old Kingsley Burrell march in Birmingham voice their concerns over his death days after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act in April. The family will be joined by others who have lost loved ones in similar circumstances, including the families of Mikey Powell, Sean Rigg and Smiley Culture.
Hundreds of people are likely to join the march which will pass by the Seacole mental health unit in Winson Green where Kingsley was detained and then moved on to West Midlands police headquarters in the centre of Birmingham.
According to news reports, on 27 March, Kingsley called police to ask for help after he and his 5-year-old son were intimidated by a group of young people. As a result he was arrested and then later sectioned and taken to the Oleaster mental health unit. He was later transferred to the Seacole unit, where on 30 March, police were again called. Kingsley was taken to Queen Elizabeth hospital for treatment to a cut to his eye and was discharged back to the Oleaster centre. Then, according to the IPCC press release, he ‘suffered a serious medical condition’ and was transferred back to hospital where he died.
On 3 July, the family and friends of Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah will gather in High Wycombe on the third anniversary of his death. His widow, children, mum, brother, sisters and cousins, have questioned the circumstances of his death on 3 July 2008. The family attended the inquest in to Habib’s death, last December, but the jury was unable to complete their hearing of the evidence after it emerged that five police officers had amended statements that were submitted to the IPCC which conducted an investigation in to the death. As a result, the inquest was halted, after an application by the IPCC, so that it could reopen its investigation into the five police officers involved. (Read an IRR News story, ‘Sudden about turn in Habib Ullah case’).