Socialist Worker

Inquest opens into Mikey Powell’s death in custody

Issue No. 2176

Supporters and friends protest to demand justice for Mikey Powell. His mother is in the centre at the front.

Supporters and friends protest to demand justice for Mikey Powell. His mother is in the centre at the front.


The inquest into the death in police custody of Mikey Powell opens on Wednesday of this week. It is expected to last for six weeks.

Mikey Powell was a fit and healthy 38 year old black man and a father of three young children. He had suffered several short episodes of mental illness in the past, from which he had recovered.

One of these episodes occurred on 7 September 2003. Police were called by concerned family members.

Mikey was detained outside his mother’s house in the Lozells area of Birmingham, and officers drove a police car at Mikey, hitting him, then used CS spray and a baton while restraining him.

Even though Mikey was injured, officers drove him to Thornhill Road Police Station where he died during his detention.

It has taken six years for Mikey’s case to reach a full public inquest.

In 2006, ten West Midlands police officers were acquitted of charges relating to Mikey’s death.

Tippa Napthali, Mikey’s cousin, said,
“Deaths in custody like Mikey’s frequently fade from public interest while the grief and anguish continues for many years.

“We have only ever wanted answers to the many questions as yet unanswered.”

» www.mikeypowellinquest.wordpress.com


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