PROTEST: Kadisha Brown-Burrell, centre, gathers protestors to call for a public inquiry into Burrell’s death
A PUBLIC rally has taken place in Birmingham following the not guilty verdict concerning three West Midlands Police officers’ involvement in the custody death of Kingsley Burrell six years ago.
The officers were acquitted of charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice. The well-attended rally was organised by The Kingsley Burrell Campaign for Justice, and scores of people converged outside the Waterstone’s Bookstore in the High Street, displaying banners and calling for solidarity.
Burrell’s sister, Kadisha Brown-Burnell, was among those who addressed the growing crowd, which included protesters who purposely covered their heads to demonstrate state in which Burrell was in when he met his death.
A campaign spokesperson said: “Our campaign has always been about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth of what happened to Kingsley Burrell on March 30, 2011.
“It is with regret that, yet again, that refuge has been successfully sought by these three West Midlands Police officers through their uniform, hence fuelling the belief of a two-tier ‘them and us’ justice system where they feel immune from the law of the land.”
They added: “It is clear that Kingsley had a cover on his head area of his body, which was witnessed by more than 20 people and also documented on video and photographs.
Burrell’s sister, Kadisha Brown-Burrell, was among those who addressed the growing crowd, which included protesters who purposely covered their heads to demonstrate state in which Burrell was in when he met his death.
PICTURED: Kingsley Burrell
A campaign spokesperson said: “Our campaign has always been. This ‘not guilty’ verdict is totally confusing, as we cannot help but to arrive at the perception that if you are in a uniform, you are licensed to do what you want to without any level of accountability.”
“Our quest for justice will continue as we still want to know why Kingsley is no longer with us, and why those involve appear reluctant to tell the truth.”
The protest comes as pressure continues to be placed on West Midlands Police, as the current conduct of police personnel across the region has been called into question. In recent months, Darren Cumberbatch from Coventry and Birmingham’s Shane Bryant both became ill and died shortly after in circumstances which remain mysterious after coming into contact with officers.
Official reports claim Cumberbatch “became unwell while the police were on the premises.” Bryant was reportedly restrained in a Leicestershire market town after a supermarket robbery, and was taken to hospital, where he died two days later. To date, none of the officers involved have been suspended or publicly reprimanded.
Family friend and community activist Desmond Jaddoo, in attendance in Birmingham, added: “Everyone is horrified at the verdict and our fight continues. As a result of the rally, we have gained more support and new supporters from outside of the community.
“The campaign will now approach the Home Secretary to call for a public inquiry. We are also looking forward to see what comes of the disciplinary hearing that was started for officers and adjourned two years ago, because of these proceedings.
“The CPS needs to review the evidence because what we’ve heard in the court was another version of the events that led to Kingsley’s death.”
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