A terminally-ill man has been honoured with a suspected Banksy mural after he was arrested for mooning a speed camera.
Located in the underpass near the Watermill Pub in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, the mural appeared after local man Darrell Meekcom made headlines last week for pulling his pants down in front of the mobile speed camera van.
The 55-year-old pulled the stunt as part of his ‘bucket list’ after being diagnosed with terminal multiple system atrophy, though it was his dramatic arrest that helped his story go viral.
Police pulled up outside Meekcom’s home and demanded to be let in before kicking down the garden gate and wrestling the dad-of-two to the ground. The scene was filmed by his wife, Sarah, and after being released from custody Meekcom suffered with blurred vision as well as enduring two seizures.
On November 10, Meekcom received a message from an account that claimed to be representing an anonymous international street artist who wanted to ‘do a piece’ on Meekcom’s arrest.
Reflecting on the conversation, the dad said:
I was shocked and didn’t think it was real. I thought nothing of it. Then I got another message on Wednesday asking if I was still interested – I said yes.
Then to my amazement, I got another anonymous message today (Sat) to say the piece had been done and I was supplied with a postcode.
The mural depicts a classic sight from The Simpsons, showing a colourful Bart pulling his trousers down and grinning over his shoulder. However, he is joined by two black-and-white police officers with batons raised above their heads.
Meekcom said the police were purposely painted in greyscale to represent the ‘disproportionate use of force’ and the ‘dark and oppressive nature of the police’, while Bart Simpson was depicted as ‘cheeky, comical and playful’.
He added: ‘The Bart Simpson is me. It is awesome. It is a fun story. Many people will be able to see this now – it is really cleverly done.’
Following his arrest, Meekcom went to Kidderminster Hospital and was later referred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital due to fears he suffered a bleed to the brain. As well as multiple system atrophy, the 55-year-old also has Parkinson’s Disease and heart and kidney problems.
The father has said he feels like he was ‘abused’ by police, describing his arrest as ‘outrageous bullying’.
I was simply gobsmacked that I got arrested for mooning a speed camera. It is something I had always wanted to do because I’d been caught by them a couple of times for silly speeds like 35mph in a 30 zone and it always bugged me.
When I was given the diagnosis last month my wife suggested drawing up a bucket list and that was one of the items on there that I’ve now crossed off at some price.
Meekcom claimed police ‘carried on restraining’ him despite his effort to explain the situation, and said officers ‘did not even provide care’ when he was in custody.
He added: ‘I did not resist arrest once and I felt the response was completely disproportionate in the circumstances.’
Meekcom has reported the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
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