Four police officers have been arrested on suspicion of the manslaughter of Birmingham dad Kingsley Burrell, who died in custody two years ago. The West Midlands officers were also being quizzed by investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission on suspicion of gross negligence and misconduct in a public office. The four were due to be interviewed by the IPCC last month, but allegedly refused to co-operate and left an arranged meeting.
The officers were arrested yesterday in the West Mercia force area and were last night being interviewed by investigators from the police watchdog. Trainee security guard Mr Burrell, 29 and from Hockley, called cops on March 27, 2011, claiming to have been threatened by a gang in Ladywood. Officers who arrived at the scene detained the dad-of-two under the Mental Health Act. Within hours, he 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. The IPCC said its independent investigation is well-advanced and is expected to conclude shortly. A final report will be compiled and a decision taken as to whether to refer a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service. The four officers, who placed Mr Burrell - while under restraint - into a seclusion room at the mental health unit have previously been interviewed by the IPCC under criminal caution. A further ten police officers have been interviewed as witnesses during the course of the investigation.
At the request of the IPCC, a separate investigation into the involvement of non-police personnel is being carried out by Dorset Police. More than 100 witness statements have been taken. Mr Burrell’s funeral took place in Handsworth last August, 17 months after his death. Family and friends have held a number of protest marches demanding answers from authorities about how he died. West Midlands Police said the four serving officers had not been suspended.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth added: “As always, West Midlands Police has co-operated fully with all requests made by the IPCC during this investigation.
“Police officers, when under investigation, have the same rights as any member of the public and can choose to submit written statements. “We await clarification from the IPCC as to the developments in this investigation which have led to the IPCC decision to arrest these four officers.”
Source: Birmingham Mail