Serv­ing po­lice called to back sacked PC on se­cret web­site Face­book sup­port group for of­fi­cer fired in Bur­rell ar­rest death scan­dal

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Mike Lock­ley Staff Re­porter

PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a se­cret Face­book site which calls on of­fi­cers to stage a counter-protest to a de­mon­stra­tion planned to de­mand jus­tice for Kings­ley Bur­rell, who died in cus­tody.

The call was made on Face­book page “Sup­port for PC Adey”, which de­scribes it­self as a “se­cret group with 1,200 mem­bers” and con­tains mes­sages from sup­port­ers, some of whom ap­pear to be serv­ing of­fi­cers.

PC Paul Adey was sacked by West Mid­lands Po­lice last month for breach­ing stan­dards over the re­straint used on Mr Bur­rell af­ter he was ar­rested and sec­tioned in 2011.

The se­cret Face­book site can be seen only by mem­bers and for­mer mem­bers, but the Post has seen some of the com­ments.

Many con­demn the for­mer of­fi­cer’s treat­ment and are crit­i­cal of com­mu­nity ac­tivist Des­mond Jad­doo and Char­lie Wil­liams, lead­ing mem­bers of the Kings­ley Bur­rell cam­paign.

West Mid­lands Po­lice said it was look­ing into the site. A spokesman said: “We are look­ing into whether any of these com­ments have been made by of­fi­cers and staff of West Mid­lands Po­lice.

“We ex­pect the high­est stan­dards of those who work in the or­gan­i­sa­tion. The Code of Ethics sets and de­fines the stan­dard of be­hav­iour ex­pected for every­one who works in polic­ing.”

Both Mr Jad­doo and Mr Wil­liams have de­scribed the Face­book group’s ex­is­tence as proof of a rogue el­e­ment within the West Mid­lands force, and have called on the Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner and the In­de­pen­dent Of­fice for Po­lice Con­duct to scru­ti­nise the so­cial me­dia site. The two men de­cided to pull the plug on a Birm­ing­ham city cen­tre march, which was to have taken place on Satur­day, af­ter of­fi­cers were urged to stage their own show of sup­port for their ousted col­league. The pair made the de­ci­sion on pub­lic safety grounds. A mes­sage on “Sup­port for PC Adey” calls on all po­lice of­fi­cers, staff and their fam­i­lies who are off duty to stage their own march in sup­port of “Paul and the boys”, say­ing that every­one is en­ti­tled to peace­fully protest and has the right to as­sem­ble.

It asked of­fi­cers to meet at New­town, and hoped that the counter-protest would out­num­ber the planned Bur­rell demo.

A po­lice mis­con­duct panel found PC Adey guilty of giv­ing a false ac­count of Mr Bur­rell’s col­lapse. Two other of­fi­cers, PC Mark Fan­non and PC Paul Green­field, were cleared of al­le­ga­tions of us­ing ex­ces­sive force and giv­ing dis­hon­est ac­counts.

Sup­port­ers say they are sick of what they see as un­truths and the way the po­lice are por­trayed in a bad light.

The post­poned de­mon­stra­tion by the Bur­rell fam­ily’s sup­port­ers was a protest over the two cleared of­fi­cers’ re­turn to full duty in Birm­ing­ham city cen­tre.

“We de­cided to pull back on the march be­cause we feared for pub­lic safety,” said Mr Jad­doo. “We don’t want to be ac­cused of start­ing a riot.

“This Face­book group shows West Mid­lands Po­lice need to put their house in or­der be­cause there are ma­jor is­sues that are drain­ing trust and con­fi­dence. If West Mid­lands Po­lice are baf­fled over why they met with a wall of si­lence, it is be­cause of rogue el­e­ments of this na­ture.”

Mr Bur­rell, aged 29, died of car­diac ar­rest days af­ter be­ing de­tained. He had been ar­rested and sec­tioned af­ter al­leg­ing that he had been threat­ened with a gun in Birm­ing­ham. While be­ing phys­i­cally re­strained at a psy­chi­atric unit, a cover was par­tially placed over his face to stop him spit­ting, the mis­con­duct hear­ing was told.

The panel de­cided PC Adey had lied about not see­ing the cover on Mr Bur­rell’s face and failed in his duty of care by not re­mov­ing it – but he was cleared of an al­le­ga­tion of us­ing ex­ces­sive force.

At the hear­ing, held at Sut­ton Cold­field Po­lice Sta­tion, the po­lice­man was dis­missed with­out no­tice for gross mis­con­duct.

>PC Paul Adey (right) and the ‘Sup­port for PC Adey’ Face­book site (above)

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