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Family's anguish over death of man taken by police

(April 02, 2011)

A FATHER of two from Birmingham has died following contact with police, two weeks after the death of reggae singer Smiley Culture.


Kingsley Burrell Brown, 29, of Hockley, was picked up by West Midlands Police on March 27 and admitted into Mary Seacole mental institute, where his family say he was not allowed to speak to them.


He was later transferred, on March 30, to a mental health facility at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.


When he arrived at Mary Seacole, Brown alleged he had been beaten up by the police. When he arrived at the second hospital he was in a critical condition. His family believe he was also beaten en route to the hospital.


Brown was pronounced dead yesterday (March 31) afternoon. His family said the coroner contacted them this morning and has not been able to provide a reason for his death.


Speaking exclusively to The Voice, Kingsley Brown’s sister Kadisha, 27, 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.


“He was a lovely person, not the sort of person to be involved in trouble; he has just completed his security training course.


“He called the police, 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.


“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.


She added: “We are taking it further and we are not letting this slide without a fight. My innocent brother’s life has been taken. He was not a criminal; he was a good father and a working man. He called the police for help but he died in their hands.


“We want justice.”


His grief-stricken mother Janet Brown, 50, added: “I don’t know why the police took him there. He has never suffered with mental health issues. What they have done to my son, I don’t know. I’m studying criminology and I never expected this to happen to my one and only son. You have good police and bad police, the ones who have done this to my son are pure evil.”



In response to Brown’s death, Maxie Hayles, chairman of the Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit, said: “The West Midlands Police have got a lot of questions to answer and we want an open and transparent investigation by the IPCC into the death of this young man. We will leave no stone unturned until we get to the root of it, to see that justice is done.”


West Midlands Police said in statement: ‘We can confirm that we are investigating the circumstances surrounding the hospitalisation of a man with a serious medical condition following dealings with the police.


‘At approximately 1.30pm on Sunday, 27 March, officers were alerted – by the ambulance service – to reports of a man being threatened with a firearm. When officers attended the address on Icknield Port Road, they discovered a 29-year-old man in an agitated state.


‘Initial enquiries indicated that no firearms offences had occurred. The man was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital. Three days later (Wednesday, 30 March), officers were called to a mental health facility in the Winson Green area of Birmingham, following reports of a man threatening staff with improvised weapons.


‘The man was restrained and transferred to hospital. He was then placed under hospital care and became critically ill some time later.


‘As is routine in such circumstances, the matter will be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for assessment, as the man had previously been dealt with by police.’


An IPCC spokesman later told The Voice in a statement: ‘The IPCC is to independently investigate contact between West Midlands Police and a 29-year-old man who died on Thursday, 31 March, 2011...


‘An independent investigation has begun. The IPCC is in the process of contacting the family to arrange meeting them to explain our role and the scope of our investigation.’


Sue Turner, chief executive of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust told The Voice in a statement: ‘There will be a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 29-year-old man, who was detained under the Mental Health Act, on Wednesday (March 30).


‘The trust will assist and support any other inquiries arising from this tragic incident, and we are seeking relevant information from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, West Midlands Ambulance Service, in conjunction with the police inquiry to ensure that we can gain a full, factual picture of what happened during this incident.


‘Clearly, this is a very unusual set of circumstances. Peter Lewis, our medical director, today met with the man’s family for the first of what will be regular meetings to work closely with the family and keep them informed as our investigation unfolds.



‘My thoughts go out to the family at this difficult time.’

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