Date: Friday 30 August 2013
This Saturday 31 August will mark exactly a year since Kingsley Burrell-Brown was laid to rest after he was restrained by a squad of police officers while detained at the Mary Seacole mental health unit in Winson Green, Birmingham, but his family are still no closer to closure of getting justice in this case.
On 11 March 2008 Kingsley Burrell-Brown dialled 999 for help after he felt threatened by a group of young people while he was on Icknield Port Road, Birmingham with his 5-year-old son.
Police responded to the called and picked up the father-of-two, and took him to the Mary Seacole mental health hospital in Birmingham where he was admitted, even though he had no history of mental health illness. The 29-year-old told staff that he had been beaten up by offers en route to the hospital. These reports were also confirmed by his young son who was with his father at the time, who told members of his family how he witness officers 'beat his daddy'.
Three days after Burrell-Brown had been detained hospital staff at Mary Seacole House called the police to deal with an incident involving Kingsley. Officers 'restrained' the father-of-two, who was then rushed to another hospital while in the care of police. His condition was so critical that he was put on a life support machine, but pronounced dead a few hours later.
His family had to wait for more than 18 months before his body was released in July last year and he was laid to rest on Friday 31 August 2012.
Marking the first anniversary of his burial the family say are still no closer to closure in this case.
Kedisha Burrell, Kingsley Burrell-Browns sister said: 'This Saturday 31st August is the anniversary that marks one year to the day that we had Kingsley's burial but there is no closure as we have no idea if anyone will be held to account for his death up until today.
The Dorset murder squad are investigating the NHS in this case and the IPCC are investigating the police, but it has taken so much time for the authorities to come to the conclusion that action needs to be taken. The IPCC say that they will be submitting a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS ) but until we actually get confirmation that they have received it there really is no confidence that this will actually happen. Until we know that there will be prosecutions in this case there are no assurances for us that there will be any kind of justice for what happened to my brother.'
Matilda MacAttram, director of Black Mental Health UK said: 'The case of Kingsley Burrell-Brown is of critical important to the UK's African Caribbean communities as it is this group who continue to be disproportionately detained under the Mental Health via police referrals. The way he was treated is particularly disturbing and raises questions as to why officers are being called to deal with situations in health based settings. It is very sad to see that because of all the delays in investigation this case that a year on from his burial the family are no closer to closure.'
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Notes to the editor
- Black Mental Health UK is a human rights campaigns group established to address the over representation of African Caribbean's within secure psychiatric care and raise awareness to address the stigma associated with mental health.
- Detention rates for people from the UK's African Caribbean community have doubled over the past five years during the period of 2005 – 2010.
- Almost half the deaths of people in police custody are mental health service users.
- Deaths of those detained under the Mental Health Act account for 60% of all deaths in state custody
- A disproportionate number of deaths following contact with the police since 2004 are of black people.
- People from the UK's African Caribbean communities are over represented among those who lose their lives while in police custody or when detained under the Mental Health Act.