Campaigning news collective, 4WardEverUK, is to launch a new website in 2019 to raise both awareness and funds for an initiative inspired by Mikey Powell, who died in police custody on 7th September 2003.
Mikey’s cousin, Tippa Naphtali said; “This fund has the potential to make a real difference for families and their campaign groups that need financial support during the often long and drawn out struggles for justice that can last for decades.
“The needs of affected families and children often get lost in the equally important work of campaigning and lobbying of state institutions. We want to change that with a permanent national fund set up specifically for their needs.“
Today the Mental Health (Use of Force) Bill has received Royal Assent in Parliament, eight years after the death of Seni Lewis for whom it is intended as a lasting legacy. Known as Seni’s Law, the Bill will increase protections and oversight on use of force in mental health settings.
The Private Members Bill brought by Steve Reed MP is named after Olaseni ‘Seni’ Lewis, a 23 year old IT graduate who died as a result of prolonged restraint by police officers whilst a voluntary inpatient at Bethlem Royal Hospital, Croydon in 2010.
Steve Reed MP has worked closely with the family of Seni Lewis, who are constituents of Croydon North. He worked on this Bill with the family’s lawyer Raju Bhatt, INQUEST, and a coalition of NGOs including Agenda , Article 39, Mind, Rethink and YoungMinds.
West Midlands Police paid £300,000 compensation to the family of a young man who died in custody, it was publicly revealed today. Mikey Powell, 38, tragically died of asphyxiation while in custody after an arrest over a disturbance at his home in Lozells.
During an arrest, the dad-of-three was hit by a police vehicle, sprayed with CS gas, restrained on the ground – while suffering psychosis – and bundled into the back of a police van. Around six minutes later, his body was placed on a mattress in a cell at Thornhill Road station in Handsworth where officers noticed he was not breathing.
Efforts to resuscitate him were made, but he was pronounced dead at City Hospital shortly after. Ten officers were charged with criminal offences after Mikey’s death, but all were cleared of wrongdoing in 2006.