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Vol. 76/No. 34      September 24, 2012

UK protests condemn
deaths in police custody
BIRMINGHAM, England—“No more cover-ups,” Kadisha Brown-Burrell told more than 200 demonstrators outside the convenience store here Aug. 18 where her brother, Kingsley Burrell, was taken by police before he died in their custody.

Kingsley Burrell phoned police when he and his young son were threatened by a group of men on March 27, 2011. Burrell was detained by cops, sectioned under the Mental Health Act and died in a hospital four days later.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched an inquiry but there has still not been an inquest. The IPCC’s annual report for 2011-2012 for England and Wales shows 121 deaths during or following police contact.

The fight is “important so it doesn’t happen to the next person’s family,” said Paul Morrison, who knew Burrell.

Supporters of the fight to prosecute cops who killed Anthony Grainger, shot dead by police on March 3 this year, came from Manchester. Wesley Ahmed, Grainger’s cousin, explained they want “to reach out to more campaigns from people who are in the same boat as us. The police shouldn’t be above the law, they should be accountable for their actions.”

“If we don’t continue fighting, we won’t see the justice we deserve,” Janet Brown, Burrell’s mother, told demonstrators at the end of the protest.

Also present were Marcia and Samantha Rigg. On Aug. 1, a jury at a coroner’s inquest ruled that cops used “unsuitable force” in the 2008 death of their brother Sean Rigg. Rigg was schizophrenic and in need of care when cops arrested, beat and left him to die in London’s Brixton police station.

Some 300 attended a memorial meeting for Rigg in London Aug. 21, the fourth anniversary of his death. The event was followed by a march to the Brixton police station.

The cops’ “brutality is to intimidate us out of protesting,” said Samantha Rigg at the Aug. 21 demonstration. “The only answer is to protest.”

Both events ended with the call to build the United Family and Friends Campaign march Oct. 27 in London.

Anne Howie from London and Hugo Wils from Manchester contributed to this article.
Related articles:
Newburgh, NY, rally: ‘Broaden fight against killings by police’  
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