By Cindi John
BBC News Online community affairs reporter
Outside St Pancras Coroner's Court near King's Cross in London an impromptu prayer session is taking place.
Roger Sylvester's parents hope to find out more about their son's death
The family and friends of Roger Sylvester, who died after being arrested and restrained by police officers nearly five years ago, joined hands as police officers and journalists looked on.
The years since Mr Sylvester's death have been frustrating for his family, who have been dismayed by the lack of progress towards holding an inquest and the news that the officers who restrained him would not be prosecuted.
A spokesman for the deeply-religious Sylvester family said they hoped the inquest would finally give them some long-awaited answers
He said: "This is an important day for all of us. God has been driving this campaign and helped us along the way.
In the meantime, the inquest into the death of Roger Sylvester is once again highlighting the issue of the disproportionate number of black men who die after being in police custody.
The inquest is attracting attention from the highest levels.
Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, was one of the many people packed into the small hearing room.
Roger Sylvester's family is calling for a public enquiry
Representatives from the pressure groups Inquest and the United Friends and Families Campaign were there too, as was the family's Labour MP, David Lammy.
Mr Lammy told BBC News Online he had supported the family ever since his election as Tottenham's MP in 2000.
"That it's taken this long for this family to be able to bring this to a conclusion or to find some truth to get some justice I think is deeply, deeply concerning," Mr Lammy said.
"But we're here today very importantly so this family can move on and begin to understand why their son died prematurely in tragic circumstances."
Inside the hearing room, the coroner, Dr Andrew Reid, apologised to the Sylvester family for the long delay before formally opening the inquest into the death of Roger Stephen Rupert Junior Sylvester.
At the front, sat lawyers for each of the interested parties in the case - the Sylvester family, Enfield and Haringey Health Trust, the Metropolitan Police and the officers who restrained Roger Sylvester.
Proceedings did not get off to a promising start, with the jury - an ethnically-diverse group of six men and five women - sent out even before the first witness had been called so legal arguments could be heard in their absence.
It looks likely to be a combative inquest with alleged drug abuse by Mr Sylvester at the time of his death likely to be a key bone of contention.