‘Failures may have led to custody death’ / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star

Cocaine Blues

Cocaine can drive you crazy
It costs a fortune too
But if you’re feeling paranoid
Don’t call for the boys in blue
My darling son made that mistake
He paid for it with his life
It was death by misadventure
That’s what the Coroner said
But to me it looked like murder
When I saw him lying dead.

He was holed up in his bedroom
When he called them on his phone
Said someone wants to kill me
And I’m up here alone.
They screamed up blue lights flashing
Like it was judgement day.
They hit him in the face
With their pepper spray.

They dragged him down the stairs
And threw him in the van
And as he lay there on the floor
The torture then began.
They took him to the station
And threw him in a cell
One copper held him down
Two stood on his legs as well.

I don’t know really what else they did
I only know he died
I know he could be difficult
But it wasn’t justified
To treat him like a criminal
And rob him of his life
When I think about them killing him
It cuts me like a knife.

So come all you grieving mothers
You must know how I feel
If you had lost a son like mine
And time alone can heal
Sometimes I blame the coppers
Sometimes I blame the drug
I wish I could join him in his grave
And give my boy a hug.

For my darling son was barely grown
He was only twenty-five
If he hadn’t called the coppers
My boy’d be still alive
The police are there to help us.
Not send us to the grave
Did they think that it was clever
Did they think that they were brave?

So next time you see a copper
You better be on your guard
You’ll never know if he’s a good guy
Or if he’s soft or hard
There’s good and bad in all folks
And not all cops are bad
But every time I see a boy in blue
It makes me feel so sad.

Morning Star news story:

An inquest jury found today that a catalogue of failures may have contributed to the death in police custody of a man after he was pepper-sprayed by officers.

Jacob Michael died on August 22 2011 aged 25 following arrest and restraint by police. He had called the police himself in an agitated state after telling his family he had been threatened.

When officers arrived at the house they forced their way into his bedroom, spraying pepper spray at him, whereupon Mr Michael ran out of the house and down the street.

The police pursued him, striking him with batons and restraining him before putting him in the back of a police van to take him into custody at Runcorn police station.

He was then left face down on the floor of a police cell for several minutes with police officers standing on his legs.

The four-week inquest heard that Mr Michael was a cocaine user who would occasionally “binge” on the drug and he had been taking it on the weekend prior to his arrest.

Mr Michael had been warned by doctors about the adverse effects cocaine could have on his heart, the inquest heard.

The jury at Warrington Coroner’s Court, sitting at Daresbury Park Hotel, reached a verdict of death by misadventure.

via ‘Failures may have led to custody death’ / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star.


About Karl Dallas

Former BBC and IRN presenter, presenter of jazz, classical, movie and talk shows on Bradford Community Broadcasting, editor and presenter of VideoCaroline, "the best TV over the Seven Seas".
This entry was posted in Arts, Folk, Songwriters. Bookmark the permalink.

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