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Morning Star Online: West Midlands Police accused of sabotaging Kingsley Burrell campaign

Burrell's family cancel protest outside Birmingham’s Newtown police station after reading secret messages from off-duty officers.

THE family of a black man who died in police custody have cancelled a protest after secret messages from off-duty officers emerged showing they were planning to disrupt it with a counter-demo. Kingsley Burrell died in 2011 after prolonged restraint by West Midlands Police. He was aged 29 and had three children. Last month one officer involved in his death was found guilty of gross misconduct. Police Constable Paul Adey was sacked for giving a false account about Mr Burrell’s collapse. However, PC Adey and two colleagues were cleared of using excessive force, a decision that upset the Burrell family. They planned a protest march to Birmingham’s Newtown police station this Saturday, but grew fearful when they began to hear rumours that “rogue police were planning to disrupt their march.”
Justice4Kingsley campaigner Desmond Jaddoo told the Star that they then received a tip-off about a secret Facebook group, “Support for PC Adey,” and saw screenshots of private messages. In the group, one man who appears to be a serving officer called on “police staff and their family’s [sic] who are off this day to do our own march in support of Paul and the boys.” He then suggests that they assemble in the local police car park. “Meet in the rear yard at Newtown then our support will be bigger than theirs when the wall of steal [sic] opens.” This appears to refer to an eight-foot high solid metal gate that controls vehicle access to the police station’s compound. Other members of the group commented that although the police would not be allowed to organise their own protest, the Burrell family campaign was being watched. One serving police officer at Newtown told the group that he had entered the family’s protest onto the station’s intelligence database, and a colleague said: “I know Intel are monitoring their site.” Another serving police officer at the station complained about “shit like protest marches from the families and hanger-ons.” Mr Jaddoo told the Star: “This highlights the historic rumour that secret groups exist within the police. “Rogue police still believe they are above the law and West Midlands needs to get its house in order.” The campaigners have reported the group to the police and the Independent Office for Police Conduct. West Midlands Police has said it is investigating the matter and that it “expects the highest standards of those who work in the organisation.”

 

Source: Morning Star Online:   https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/west-midlands-police-accused-of-sabotaging-kingsley-burrell-campaign

 

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