And Michael Stewart who do art under the ground
Got found and laid down by
Eleven white cops that pound
-ed him for thirty-two minutes between arrest and delivery (they played with the paperwork!)
Alive and barely breathing, to dead in ‘83

from Heems – New York City Cops Lyrics on Rap Genius


Michael Jerome Stewart was an artist that died at the age of 25 following an altercation with 11 NYPD police officers that resulted in him being in coma for 13 days and subsequently dying. Notably there was a 32 minute gap between his arrest and his delivery to the hospital. The altercation with police started because of graffiti he was painting on a subway wall.

Notably, Basquiat made a piece of artwork titled “Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart)” in response to this.

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