United4Justice: Affected families speak out

Families & Friends Unitedadapted from original by Harmit Athwal of IRR
22nd May 2010 (see footnote)

Families and campaigners gathered in Leicester to pay tribute to those that had died in custody.

At a meeting and event organised by the 4WardEver UK Campaign in association with the Friends of Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice, Habib Ullah Campaign and the Leicester Civil Rights Movement, there was no mistaking the serious issues being addressed.

Banners and posters of dead loved ones adorned the walls and stage, the hall was crowded with stalls of books and DVDs and information on families and organisations campaigning on deaths in custody, films were shown and family members and campaigners gave speeches. And, in a grand finale to the evening, entertainment was provided by Yaz Alexander, Lennox Carty, The Trooperz, Genesis Elijah and The Broombusters – which went down a storm.

The day marked what would have been the forty-fifth birthday of Mikey Powell, who died in September 2003 after being detained by police in Birmingham. Mikey, who was suffering from mental health problems, was knocked down by a police car, restrained with batons and CS spray and taken to Thornhill Road police station where he was found not to be breathing. In November 2009, an inquest jury found that Mikey died as a result of the position the police officers had placed him in the van.

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