originally by: The Voice Online
published: 7 March 2013
For people from the UK’s African Caribbean communities, deaths in custody and mental health care are, sadly, inextricably linked.
While by no means an exclusively black issue, the cases of Kingsley Burell-Brown, Sean Rigg, Olaseni Lewis, Alvan Thompson, Fitz Hicks, Mikey Powell, Roger Sylvester and, most recently, Johnathan Andel is evidence that deaths in custody, particularly within the mental health system, is hitting black Britons hardest.
Johnathan Andel is just the latest in a long line of healthy young black men who have lost their lives while in the care of mental health services, leaving yet another heartbroken family seeking answers for his death.
Their decision to take on a David and Goliath-type battle to uncover exactly how their loved one has died while in the care of the state has denied them any opportunity to even begin the grieving process.