Kingsley Burrell, aged 29 years old, had a 5 year old son and a large family who loved him very much and still continue to fight for justice over his death.
Kingsley Burrell, died from cardiac arrest after being arrested following a disturbance in Birmingham in 2011. He was dubbed as a “mentally ill” student by the Guardian newspaper. Burrell was arrested after calling the police to say that he was being threatened with a gun, while shopping in the centre of Birmingham. However, CCTV footage showed he was not being followed and he was detained under the Mental Health Act.
While waiting to be assessed at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, Burrell wet himself and was left handcuffed on the hospital floor for five or six hours. He died from a heart attack four days later.
What was the legal implication?
Jurors found that the police used an unreasonable amount of force to detain Burrell in the hospital’s A&E unit and in a separate seclusion room, and that it “more than minimally contributed to his death”. They also found that a blanket used to cover Burrell’s face had a “more than minimal” contribution to his death and should have been removed.
An inquest in 2015 found restraint had been a factor in his death. The officers involved were charged with perverting the course of justice. Constables Paul Adey, 36, Mark Fannon, 45, and Paul Greenfield, 50, have been suspended by West Midlands Police. The charges relate to evidence given during Mr Burrell's inquest.
PC Paul Adey was found guilty of giving a false account in relation to Mr Burrell's collapse. A panel found the PC had lied about not seeing the cover on Mr Burrell's face and failed in his duty of care by not removing it. The officer was exonerated of an allegation of using excessive force. He was dismissed without notice for gross misconduct at a hearing at Sutton Coldfield Police station earlier. Two other officers, PCs Mark Fannon and Paul Greenfield, were cleared of allegations of using excessive force and giving dishonest accounts.
In 2015, an inquest jury ruled prolonged restraint had been a factor in Mr Burrell's death as well as the failure to provide basic medical attention. In October 2017, the three police officers involved were cleared of perjury and perverting the course of justice by jurors at Birmingham Crown Court. Although Paul Adey was found guilty of giving a false account, none of these men were brought to justice for the part they played in the death of Kingsley Burrell.
If you want to find out more about other victims of police and state violence in the UK, click here.
The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where restraint is a feature is over two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody. The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where use of force is a feature is over two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody. The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where mental health-related issues are a feature is nearly two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody.