The mother of Sarah Reed, the police brutality victim who died in custody last month, has given her first public interview.
Sarah’s story went viral earlier this month after it was shared online by activist Lee Jasper. He spent her last decade suffering from mental health issues following the death of her nine-month old baby, and in 2012 was been by a police officer. In January 2016 she died in Holloway prison, after reportedly being denied medication.
Now her mother Marylin Reed has given her first public interview to The Guardian. As you might expect, it’s a tough read. She says that Sarah constantly asked her and her family, saying “Please help me to get out of here; I shouldn't be in here; I'm not being treated.” She told the paper: "Her priority in every letter was: 'I need my medication.'" Marylin even says that a prison guard asked her if she knew what was wrong with Sarah, showing that the prison staff seemed to have little knowledge of her long standing mental health problems, and thus weren’t dealing with them.
Marylin says her daughter's death was “collective failure” by prison officers, doctors, social workers and lawyers. “I knocked on all of those doors, I pleaded with all of them. I believe she was failed by many, and I was ignored by many, especially building up to the time of her dying. My voice hit the floor and nobody answered,”
You can read the full interview over on The Guardian.