Community outrage after suspicious custody death
Kingsley Burrell, aged 29 years old, died in what appear extremely suspicious circumstances in Birmingham. It is reported that he called the police after he tried to talk to a group of young people who were intimidating him and his 5 year old son. He was subsequently arrested himself and detained under the Mental Health Act. Days later he was in intensive care and subsequently died.
It was reported that after calling police they arrived and claimed he was acting paranoid. They then detained him under the Mental Health Act taking him to Mary Seacole House Mental Health Unit where he was sectioned. His young son claimed that the police beat his father on the way to the unit.
On the 30 March police were called by the unit’s staff over an incident which involved Kingsley. He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for injuries where he died on 31st March 2011.
West Midlands Police referred the case to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission).
Kingsley’s sister, Kadisha Brown-Burrell said that he had no history of mental illness and that when she insisted on seeing him he had “ …three massive bumps and a swelling to the head and the brain.”
The family were angry that in the weeks after his death because an explanation had not been given as to how and why he died. His sister Kadisha Brown-Burrell said: “As a family we are anxious for the coroner to release the body so we can say goodbye properly to Kingsley. The past two months have been extremely traumatic, especially for his two young children, but we have had tremendous support from so many people.
Kingsley’s family believe he was also beaten en route to the hospital. Speaking to The Voice Newspaper, his sister Kadisha said: “My brother was in a gangland area and he called the police because he was with his five-year-old son and was worried for their safety. He had seen some men he believed were out to get him.
“But when they came they said he was paranoid. However, CCTV footage proves otherwise. He was taken to a mental hospital and en route he was beaten up by the police, and his son witnessed it. His son told us that the police beat his dad.”
“When I went to see him he had three massive bumps and a swelling to the head and the brain,” she continued. “The only reason they allowed us to see him is because we insisted. After this visit he was refused the right to see us and later taken to Queen Elizabeth hospital, where he was put on life support machine.”
An archdeacon, bishop and pastor have put their support behind the campaigns group who say that this case needs to be addressed at the highest levels. It highlights a disturbing trend in black service users who have lost their lives after contact with the police, it says.
The death of Kingsley Burrell Brown has sent shockwaves through the community, occurring so soon after the high profile death of Smiley Culture, who died during a police raid on his home just last month.
Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said;
“The currency of life is far too precious to be so brutally taken away like this; my thoughts are with the family at this time. I call for a thorough and open investigation into this case”, Archdeacon Daniel Kajumba, Chair of committee for minority Anglican Concerns said.