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ULTRAVIOLENCE JulyJul 01 2021 08:00pm - JulyJul 04 2021 08:00pm

The struggles for justice by the families of people killed by the police in the UK

The silence over the police killings of Black people is now broken. What happens next? Since 1969, over two thousand people have died at the hands of the police in the UK. Shootings, chokeholds, batons, gassing, suffocation, restraint and brutal beatings are some of the methods used. The violence is uncontrollable. Inevitably police officers involved are not convicted for these deaths. In this documentary, the families of the victims of police violence demand justice. They ask why society ignores human rights abuses by agents of the state. Silence is also violence.

Ultraviolence has been released 19 years after Injustice, the 2001 film that broke the story of deaths in police custody in the UK, with a focus on the deaths of black people, and without a single successful prosecution for these killings. Ultraviolence demands to know what has changed since then? Silence is violence.

One of the clearest pieces of evidence in the new film is the escalation of violence, culpability, neglect and collusion within the state. Our research for Injustice revealed that over 1000 people had died after coming into contact with the police during the 30-year period we investigated. In the 20 years since then there has been another 1000 deaths. The kill rate is rising. They should also hear, as is presented in Ultraviolence, the words of Frank Ogboru, the killing of whom predates Floyd with the cries of “I can’t breathe” as he died on the streets of South East London, physically restrained by the Metropolitan Police.

This blow by blow account investigates a number of killings and follows the relentless campaign of the families as they find out how their loved ones died at the hands of police officers. Powerful exclusive footage filmed and edited over a decade exposes how the political system condones the killings and fails the families in case after case. Shocking imagery of the deaths bears witness to the brutality of state violence. The film provides evidence that an accused killer in a police uniform is not judged by the same standards as an ordinary citizen. This immunity gives the police a license to kill.

The film exposes a systemic pattern of state sponsored criminality by the police and reflects on the fight for the truth of the killings in a country that delivers injustice at home and violence abroad. Intersections between the campaigns of the families for justice and the broader movement against the wars that the UK pursues are reflected on as part of a collective memory of resistance.

Ultraviolence documents the terrible loss of life at the hands of the state and it's attempts to cover up these killings. It also offers hope for the future. The families of the dead want justice for the crimes of state violence. They will not stop until they have got it.

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