Campaigners demanding answers about the death of a man who was detained by police marched through Birmingham city centre. Hundreds marched three miles from Handsworth to the city centre, peacefully waving placards and playing music, in a bid to get justice for Kingsley Burrell who died after being taken into police custody. Mr Burrell, from Hockley, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in March 2011, just days after calling the police for help.The dad-of-two dialled 999 on March 27, after he told police that he had been threatened by a gang while walking with his young son in Ladywood.
But the trainee security guard was detained by officers on arrival under the Mental Health Act. Within hours, the 29-year-old was sectioned and taken to a mental health unit in the city. Three days later police were called to the Mary Seacole mental institute in Winson Green after an “incident” and Mr Burrell was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he died on March 31. Yesterday campaigners marched from Holyhead School in Handsworth to Police Headquarters in Colmore Circus, in a bid to get answers following Mr Burrell’s death.
Kingsley’s mother Janet Brown previously told the Mercury: “How can a strong, fit young man be taken off the street with no history of mental health issues and die within three days? “I want answers which directly focus on how my son came about his death, who was involved and under what circumstances. “The system has failed my son or he would be here with us today. “The NHS and West Midlands Police must provide us with the answers we deserve.”
The protesters were supported by another campaign group, Justice4the21 who are seeking justice for the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974. Justice4the21 spokeswoman Julie Hambleton said: “We’ve come together and been welcomed which has been fantastic. “Kingsley Burrell’s family want justice and truth just like us. “Without justice and truth what do the authorities think that we are going to do? We are here to support because we know their pain. “Police managers hide behind their power to avoid giving us the truth,” she claimed. “But if we pull together we can force the authority’s hand to find the truth.”
Last year two files were handed to the Crown Prosecution Service after separate probes into the death of the Mr Burrell. Four West Midlands police officers were previously arrested and interviewed by the IPCC under criminal caution. A number of other police officers have been interviewed as witnesses during the course of the investigation.
Source: Birmingham Live.