The Justice for Kingsley Burrell campaign occupied the building that houses Birmingham’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) offices today, Friday.
They demanded the CPS bring charges against officers involved in Kingsley’s death.
Kingsley called the police after feeling at risk on 27 March 2011. He was detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.Just 72 hours laterhe was dead.
Police were called to the mental health unit where he was being held, forcefully restrained him and wrapped his head in a blanket. Two hours after he was restrained he suffered a heart attack and died.
Kingsley’s family and their supporters held a rally in Birmingham Cathedral’s gardens earlier in the day.
Some 100 people listened to Kadisha Brown-Burrell, Kingsley’s sister. “We’ve been campaigning for five years for justice,” she said. “Kingsley was vulnerable, he called the police for help. He wasn’t taken seriously.
“When the police came to attend the disturbance they came with batons andCS gas. He was treated like an animal.”
But the CPS decided in 2014 that there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute anyone.
The following year the Independent Police Complaints Commission watchdog called on the CPS to review its decision.
This followed a 2015 inquest that found the restraint “contributed” to Kingsley’s death—and campaigning by Kingsley’s family.
Despite this, they are still waiting for a decision.
In a recent meeting with the CPS they were told they would have to wait a further two weeks for a decision regarding three officers.
Kadisha told Socialist Worker, “We’re supposed to have a fair platform across the board but we don’t.
“When it comes to the CPS making a decision it’s based on the findings of the inquest and if the inquest doesn’t give a verdict then they don’t prosecute. The system is rigged.”
Stephanie Patterson summed up the struggle people face when their relatives die after coming into contact with the police. She is chair of the United Families and Friends Campaign, and her brother Leon died in Stockport police station in 1992.
“We are the voices of the cemetery,” she said. “We speak for people who can’t speak for themselves.”
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