Community condemn mental health service user police custody death

Community condemn mental health service user police custody death

Community and church leaders have joined Black Mental Health UK in their condemnation of the death of Kingsley Burrell Brown, 29, who tragically lost his life just days after being admitted into psychiatric services.

The campaigns group say that this case needs to be addressed at the highest levels as it highlights a disturbing trend in black service users who have lost their lives after contact with the police.

The death of Kingsley Burrell Brown, has sent shockwaves through the community, occurring so soon after the high profile death of Smiley Culture, who died during a police raid on his home just last month.

Brown was detained under the Mental Health Act last Sunday after he called the police for help because he was in an area of the City with his young son where he felt unsafe.

Officers took him to the Mary Seacole mental health hospital in Birmingham. He is reported to have told staff that he had been beaten by officers en route.
Family members say that his 5-year-old son who was with him at the time saw officers assault his father.

Three days later (Wednesday 30 March) officers were again called to support staff at the mental health hospital following a disturbance involving Brown. He was then transferred to another hospital where he was put on a life support machine and pronounced dead on Thursday 31 March.

West midlands Police have referred this case to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) , Black Mental Health say that further action needs to be taken.

We need ministerial intervention on this issue. This tragic death highlights the need for a complete overhaul of how people from this community are treated by the services.

These incidents are costing the nation millions of pounds to investigate while our communities are paying for these errors with their lives,’ Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said.

‘There needs to be a public inquiry as this incident should never have happened. Since the Bennett Inquiry there have been a number of deaths of black men in similar circumstances. It is unacceptable in a healthcare facility for police to take over from nurses who are trained to deal with disturbed patients,’ Professor Sashi Sashidarand panel member on the David Bennett Inquiry said.

‘This incident definitely calls for a public inquiry as there are too many unanswered questions here , this case just reinforces the fear of what can happen to black people who come in contact with mental health services,’ Rachael Barclay, director of Two Way Street said.

‘The message that this incident sends out is that the minute that there is police contact, your life is in serious danger. The police clearly have no idea how to handle people in this vulnerable condition, they should not be handling service users like criminals and killing them,’ Sam Rigg from the Justice for Sean Rigg campaign said.

‘The currency of life is far too precious to be so brutally taken away like this; my thoughts are with the family at this time. I call for a thorough and open investigation into this case’, Archdeacon Daniel Kajumba, Chair of committee for minority Anglican Concerns said.

‘We need to see a thorough independent investigation and the officers responsible brought to account. There are far too many cases where a healthy young black men has gone into the system and in a very short time have ended up dead,’ Bishop Llewellyn Grayham of Church of God of Prophesy said.

‘100 Black Men of London are very concerned by this incident, we ask that the authorities take quick action to investigate thoroughly, opening and transparently. We need to see justice not only for the family but it is critical for community relations,’ Olu Alake president of 100k Black Men of London said.

‘This will not be ignored, we need to go on record as stating that we have noticed that another young black man has fallen because he was brutalised by the system that was meant to be looking after him.

We are all injured by this, people look to the authorities for protection, but when the protection turns on the people that it is meant to protect, we are in real trouble,’ Pastor Desmond Hall, chair of Christians Together in Brent said.

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