A terminally-ill dad has been honoured with a suspected Banksy painting after a clip of him being wrestled to the ground by police officers went viral – after he mooned at a speed camera for his bucket list.
Darrell Meekcom, 55, was left stunned when he was contacted by an anonymous person who represented an ‘international street artist’ on Wednesday (10/11) morning.
Now, pictures of two police officers, with a colourful small Bart Simpson, have appeared on an underpass near the Watermill Pub in Kidderminster, Worcs.
The pictures show two police officers in guard gear with two batons, hovering over Bart Simpson who is showing his bum – a reference to Darrell’s bucket list he drew up after being diagnosed with terminal multiple system atrophy.
Darrell dropped his trousers at the mobile speed camera van on Stourbridge Road while his wife went to buy some bread from a nearby Tesco Express.
Following that, the dad of two, from Kidderminster, went viral this week after cops pulled up outside the home of Darrell – who also has Parkinson’s Disease and heart and kidney problems – and demanded to be let in.
When he refused, officers raided the home and kicked down the garden gate before wrestling him to the ground outside to put him in cuffs – all filmed by his wife, Sarah, 36.
But now, Darrell and his family have found amusement from the artwork and has praised the mysterious artist for their ‘tongue and cheek’ mural.
Darrell said: “I had a message from an account last week, saying they were representing an anonymous international street artist.
“We discussed what happened with the police and they said they wanted to do a piece on it.
“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.
“We had some photos taken and sent them across to them. It is amazing.”
Inspired by the original story, the artist told Darrell that the police were purposely painted in black 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’.
Darrell 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.
“When I got there this morning, you could smell it was all fresh paint.
“My, wife, and two kids when down there and had some pictures taken. You could see people walking past and wondering what was going on.
“The artist wants to remain anonymous.
“The last few days have been busy: it is the big repressive man picking on the little preacher, it is a David and Goliath story really. All I wanted was recognition for the MSA trust.”
Darrell was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy (MSA) last month, a terminal condition which affects the nervous system.
He says the life expectancy following a diagnosis of MSA is around six years, although this varies from person to person.
When Darrell was released from custody, his vision was blurred and he also suffered two seizures.
He went to Kidderminster Hospital and was later referred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital due to fears he suffered a bleed to the brain.
Darrell, who used to lecture medical students at Birmingham City University, added: “I feel like I have been abused. It was 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.”
“They saw me as a big fellow. They may be perceived me as a threat but because of my illnesses at five-year-old child could knock me over.
“I have MSA, heart disease, kidney failure and Parkinson’s Disease – I’m a threat to nobody. I use a wheelchair and need a zimmer frame to get out of bed.
“They could have killed me very easily and even when I calmly explained the situation, they carried on restraining me and cuffing me from behind.
“They did not even provide care for me when I was in custody despite my various conditions and suffering a blow to the head.
“I did not resist arrest once and I felt the response was completely disproportionate in the circumstances.
“They were all young officers, there was no senior officers involved and if I think there was the situation would have been managed must better.
“At one point I took a photo of one officer goading me through the window, it was like they were laughing at me and knew what they were going to do.
“I feel it was an abuse of police power and privilege.”
Darrell – who also has a bungee jump, parachuting and to run naked at a Premiership rugby match on his bucket list – says he has reported the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.