A mural of a Black man who died in police custody has been painted opposite a south London police station.
Local residents gathered at Lewisham Gateway Project to furnish hoardings with the commemorative piece which was painted by acclaimed street artist Carleen De Sözer.
The initiative was organised by anti-racism campaigners Adam Pugh and Sallie Foyeh who both live in the area.
Kevin Clarke, 35, told officers “I can’t breathe” as officers placed him into two sets of handcuffs but was “ignored” and then lost consciousness as he was taken to an ambulance, an inquest into his death heard on Monday.
He had paranoid schizophrenia and was living at the Jigsaw Project, a residential support service, up until his death on 9 March 2018.
Deborah Coles, executive director at human rights charity INQUEST, said the mural is a “really beautiful way of talking about important social and racial justice issues”.
“I think what they’re doing is really important; it’s about recognising a life lived but also showing people, through art, that Black people die at the hands of people in the UK. It’s important that debate continues and what a good way to continue it,” Coles told HuffPost UK.
“You see Kevin at various stages of his life – from childhood to adulthood – and an inquest is going on about how he lost his life at the hands of police officers.”
INQUEST has been supporting Clarke’s family during inquest at Southwark Coroners Court.
“It’s a really beautiful way of talking about important social and racial justice issues – and it’s to the credit of everyone involved in this project that they’ve done this,” Coles added.
“Especially at a time when the family are going through a heartbreaking and really emotionally difficult process of listening at an inquest to how Kevin died. So this is also for them.”
Wendy Clarke, Kevin’s mother, was overwhelmed with emotion over the mural and said she’s speechless.
″It means a lot to us, as a...