Mikey’s Campaign : A decade of struggle

Tippa Naphtali & Sieta Lambrias - Sept 2013 by Saqib Deshmukh
Picture by Saqib Deshmukh

10th Anniversay Remembrance

The family and friends of Mikey Lloyd Powell have commemorated his life 10 years after his death at the hands of West Midlands Police by holding a candlelit vigil at the police headquarters in Central Birmingham, and holding an inspirational after-event at the nearby African Caribbean Millennium Centre in Winson Green.

Mikey Powell 10th and final annual memorial
The image gallery from the Mikey Powell 10th Memorial Vigil at West Midlands Police Headquarters in Birmingham.

The Friends of Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice was established by the family of Michael Lloyd Powell (known as Mikey), a cousin of the renowned poet and writer, Benjamin Zephaniah, following his death in Police custody. Mikey was 38 years old and a father of three young children.

The police had previously dealt appropriately with one episode at the request of the family and were called again this time. This is what happened this time around – Officers drove a police car at Mikey, hitting him, beat him with a baton, CS gassed him, restrained him and, knowing he was injured, drove him to a police station not a hospital.

The much talked about memorial event included talks from Powell family members acclaimed poet, Benjamin Zephaniah (cousin), Sieta Lambrias (sister) and Tippa Naphtali (cousin).

Other family members from Birmingham and London included Samantha & Marcia Rigg, (sisters of Sean Rigg), Jan Butler (Mother of Lloyd Butler) and Myrna Simpson (Mother of Joy Gardner). Several other family members were present representing Kingsley Burrell, Michael Bailey and Habib Ullah.

Radical filmmaker, Ken Fero of Migrant Media, gave the first preview of a new short documentary, ‘Po Po’ which featured the case of Jason McPherson, combined moving testimonies, poetry and a political analysis of state violence. Dark and disturbing, ‘Po Po’ suggests that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) are complicit in the lack of successful prosecutions of police officers for deaths in their custody.

Speakers included the Powell family solicitor, Jane Deighton, who gave an update on the legal case. Matilda MacAttram from Black Mental Health UK, and Maxie Hayles a veteran Birmingham-based Campaigner and Activist.

Music and spoken word was provided by Oxford-based artiste trio Fio, RhymeSkeemz and Beneficial.

West Midlands Police also acknowledged the anniversary by issuing a formal letter of apology to Mikey’s mother, Claris Powell.

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Follow-Up News:

Family marks 10 years since the death of Mikey Powell
12 September 2013

Police say ‘sorry’ over dad’s death in custody
9 September 2013

Mikey Powell: Police apologise for ‘pain and suffering’ of family
7 September 2013

Ten years on, police apologise over the death of Mikey Powell
6 September 2013

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