Kingsley Burrell’s funeral comes 18 months after his death.
Written by Poppy Brady |30/08/2012 02:06 PM| The Voice
FAMILY MEMBERS of Kingsley Burrell who died days after being arrested by West Midlands Police are finally being allowed to hold his funeral almost 18 months after his controversial death.
The 29-year-old trainee security guard will be buried at Handsworth Cemetery in Birmingham tomorrow (Aug 31), following a horse-drawn procession along Handsworth’s Soho Road where family and friends plan to walk in silence.
Burrell’s funeral service will be held at 12 noon at Hamstead Road Baptist Church.
“We are finally laying Kingsley to rest but we still have a long fight ahead for justice,” said his sister Kadisha Brown-Burrell.
She said her brother’s body was only released by the state last Friday (Aug 24), leaving less than seven days for the family to make the funeral arrangements.
The father-of-two died on March 30 last year at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, four days after being arrested by police.
His family says he dialled 999 for help because he was suffering intimidation while out walking with his five-year-old son.
However, officers detained him under the Mental Health Act. He was later admitted to the Mary Seacole Mental Health Unit before being transferred to the Queen Elizabeth.
Since then family members, who say Kingsley had no history of mental health problems, have been searching for answers to his death.
They also allege he had unexplained injuries when he died.
Two weeks ago a march organised by the Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit (BRAMU) was held in Birmingham for members of Burrell’s family.
More than 300 people attended, including supporters of others who have died in suspicious circumstances such as Sean Rigg, Smiley Culture and Anthony Grainger.
Burrell’s family carried placards saying ‘ No body, no burial, no justice, no peace.’
His mother Janet Brown, who spoke at the rally, said: “I want to know how my son, a fit young man in his prime with no history of mental illness, was taken off the street, sectioned and died in custody three days later.
“The system has failed my son or he would be here with us today. It is now up to the NHS and West Midlands Police to provide us the family and community with answers.”
The police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is still investigating Burrell’s death.
West Midlands Police has previously said it will not comment on Burrell’s death while investigations are ongoing.
In a previous statement, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Investigations into the circumstances surrounding Kingsley Burrell’s death and still being carried out by the IPCC and our trust so it would be inappropriate to comment further. However, our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”