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Vigil and balloon release marks Leon Briggs’ 40th birthday

More than 60 people turned out to the vigil to mark Leon Briggs' 40th birthday

More than 60 people turned out to the vigil to mark Leon Briggs' 40th birthday

 

A vigil to mark the 40th birthday of Leon Briggs proved to be a “meloncholy” experience, according to one of its organisers.

Family, friends and supporters of the Justice 4 Leon campaign held the event outside Luton police station on Saturday, commemorating the life of the fatherof two.

Leon Briggs, of Ashburnham Road, died at the station on November 4 after being detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

Despite outcry and an IPCC investigation into the incident, members of the J4L campaign organised the vigil as a peaceful event intended for the community.

More than 60 turned out as 40 balloons were released into the sky and rapper Si Phili performed the J4L campaign song.

Close friend Cyril Mitchell also remembered Leon in a speech, wishing him a happy birthday.

In attendance were Caddington villagers Patrick and Christine Smith, who in August received £13,249 after suing Beds Police for assault, false imprisonment and trespass following a three year legal battle.

J4L spokeswoman Liberty Louise admitted the vigil was a “meloncholy” experience for Leon’s family.

She said: “It was difficult as it was a celebration of Leon’s life but also mourning of his passing.

“Leon’s family will never be able to rest until they know what happened in full.”

She added: “It was a nice community spirited event and there were no problems at all with the police.

“Patrick and Christine Smith also came out of the blue to lend their support.”

 

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