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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 September, 2003, 08:22 GMT 09:22 UK
Call for custody death suspensions
Michael Powell
A family member made the call that led to Michael Powell's arrest
The family of a man who died shortly after being arrested by West Midlands police have called for the officers involved to be suspended at a meeting with the chief constable of West Midlands police.

The family of factory worker Michael Powell met with Chief Constable Paul Scott-Lee on Wednesday, two weeks after his death.

The meeting took place at Birmingham's Town Hall after the city council helped organise the event.

The family said the chief constable had offered his condolences and said he welcomed the opportunity to discuss the ongoing investigation into Mr Powell's death.

Mr Powell, 38, died in Birmingham's City Hospital after he was arrested at his home.

His sister Sharon said the family were pleased they had the opportunity to put their questions to Mr Scott-Lee.

She said: "He actually did show his respect for us and we appreciate that.

Thornhill Road police station, Handsworth
Mr Powell collapsed at Thornhill Road police station

"The help and support that he is offering us is there as well."

An inquest has heard that Mr Powell, known as Mikey, had been hit by a police car before his death but despite extensive tests a definite cause of death had so far failed to be identified.

An independent inquiry was ordered by the Police Complaints Authority following the death of the father-of-three.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Northamptonshire Police.

Mr Powell was arrested at his Birmingham home after his family and friends called police and mental health experts because of his erratic behaviour.

Officers were called to the address in the Lozells area of the city shortly after midnight on 7 September.

He was taken to a police station in neighbouring Handsworth after a struggle outside the property, in which a window of the officers' vehicle was smashed.

But he collapsed while in custody and was taken to City Hospital, where he died in the early hours.

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07 Sep 03  |  West Midlands

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