published: 16 November 2021
Trevor Alton Smith, a 52 year old Black man, was fatally shot by police officers on 15 March 2019. He had been experiencing mental ill health. An inquest has today concluded finding his death was a ‘lawful killing’, with no criticism of the operation. The family are now raising serious concerns about the findings.
Trevor was a much loved father of two whose family describe him as a very bright, talented, creative individual who was full of charisma. He was a caring, kind, generous spirit whose heart belonged to his family.
Trevor experienced depression following the sudden death of his father, two years before. He had been under the care of Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust services. Trevor’s mental health background was known to West Midlands Police, but not communicated prior to the operation.
The incident occurred in Trevor’s bedroom in Lee Bank, Birmingham during an intelligence-led operation by West Midlands Police Firearms Unit. The family acknowledge that there were grounds to seek Trevor’s arrest, but are concerned about the enactment of the operation at every level.
At around 5am on 15 March 2019, police officers opened the front door of Trevor’s flat. He was in bed and was repeatedly told to show both his hands. Police said he was not compliant, as one hand remained behind the duvet. Officers told the inquest they tried to gain compliance. Body worn camera footage showed their attempts at engaging, which included swearing at Trevor and telling him to “stop being a plonker”.