Birmingham & Black Country

Clash roadie Don Lorenzo was racially abused by police, judges rule

Don Lorenzo
Image caption Mr Lorenzo was awarded £17,000 in damages in the civil case in October 2011

The appeal court has upheld a decision that a Birmingham man was racially abused and assaulted as he was arrested by West Midlands Police officers.

Former Clash roadie Don Lorenzo, 59, began civil action after he was held in a police cell in November 2007 for more than 23 hours.

In October 2011 he was awarded £17,000 in damages. But the police force later appealed, claiming the case was flawed.

The force claimed allegations had been investigated and nothing was found.

Judges sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London heard how police had been called to Mr Lorenzo's flat in Edgbaston more than five years ago after his daughter alleged he had assaulted her. She later withdrew the claims.

Wrist injuries

The court heard Mr Lorenzo's claims he was pushed down five flights of stairs by officers, and then taken to Bournville Lane police station where he was held in a cell for 23 hours.

He claimed that while in the cell he was subjected to obscene racist language by one officer.

Mr Lorenzo, a former drummer, said he had suffered wrist injuries in the incident, which had since prevented him from playing in any bands.

In a statement, West Midlands Police disputed Mr Lorenzo's claims and said they had been properly investigated internally.

It said another investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission had found nothing to substantiate Mr Lorenzo's claims.

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