Trevor Alton Smith, also known as ‘Big Trev’ was a 52-year-old dad of two from Birmingham. The former transit driver was a popular figure among Birmingham City supporters and was described as a “Birmingham Legend”. After his murder, Birmingham Town fans sang ‘Keep Right On’ as they gathered around flags bearing the names of devoted supporters who have died, before the game against Preston North End. Trevor’s name was added to the bottom of a giant flag with the message ‘R.I.P Big T.’
On the 15th March 2019, the West Midlands Police firearms unit were executing an “intelligence- led operation” where they raided Trevor’s home just before 05:00am. Officers had been there to carry out a search warrant obtained under Section 8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE). Trevor was shot in his bedroom where he died on the scene. His post mortem examination confirmed the cause of death as a single gunshot wound in his chest. Big T became the second victim of a fatal shooting by the West Midlands Police of 2019.
What was the legal implication?
An inquest was opened on the 25th of March 2020. Accounts from the police and body worn footage is to be reviewed and all officers are to be treated as witnesses. The investigation will examine the intelligence that led to the operation and the actions, as well as the decision making of the police officers involved. The investigation was estimated to take up to 9 months but a decision is yet to be published. No arrests have been made.
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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.