Birmingham & Black Country

Mikey Powell: Police apologise for 'pain and suffering' of family

Michael Powell
Image caption Michael Powell died in 2003 shortly after being arrested by police.

Police have said sorry to the family of a man who died in their custody 10 years ago.

Michael 'Mikey' Powell, 38, died of asphyxiation shortly after being arrested by police in 2003.

West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth apologised to Mr Powell's mother, Claris, for the "pain and suffering" caused to the family.

A vigil in his memory is due to be held outside West Midlands Police headquarters in Birmingham.

In a letter, Mr Forsyth writes: "I am very sorry for the pain and suffering this has caused for you and your family. I hope that the vigil may bring some comfort to you and your family."

Jane Deighton, solicitor for the Powell family, said: "The Powell family have fought a long and painful campaign. It is a remarkable campaign which is set to continue."

Mr Powell's cousin, Birmingham poet Benjamin Zephaniah, said: "We have been asking questions for 10 years, protesting for 10 years, writing letters, and poems, and statements for 10 years, but most of all we have been collectively grieving for 10 years.

"We can't reject an apology. The best we can do is simply raise our eyebrows and say, it's better than nothing."

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