Online Film Screening
1500 & Counting, a documentary investigating police brutality and deaths in custody in the UK
Friday 31st July 2020, 6.30pm
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On Sunday 3rd May 2015, Sheku Bayoh was killed by up to nine police officers in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. Five years later, his family are still demanding answers.
The murder of George Floyd in 2020, which has sparked global uprisings and a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has brought the issues of deaths in custody and directly following, or during, police contact into sharp relief once more. There are devastating parallels between the brutal execution of George Floyd and the killing of Sheku Bayoh. The two men were both loving partners, fathers, sons and brothers.
George Floyd, died after a white American police officer, pushed his knee into his neck for almost nine minutes while he was handcuffed and lying face down. Sheku died after being held face down by the brute force of up to nine officers, who also subjected him to CS spray, pepper spray, batons, handcuffs and leg restraints.
A report by INQUEST, published on 22nd October 2015 revealed that since 1990, there had been at least 1532 deaths in police custody, or following police contact, in the UK. Of this number, more than 500 victims came from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, despite people from minority backgrounds making up only 14% of the UK population. No officer has been punished for these deaths. Even one death at the hands of the state is too many, and in 2020, this number is now well over 1700 deaths and still, there is no justice.
Produced by writer, producer and community organiser, Siana Bangura and directed by award-winning filmmaker, Troy James, 1500 And Counting is an independent documentary film investigating police brutality and deaths in custody in the UK since 1990.
The film was officially released in May 2019 and is now embarking on a virtual series of screenings between July and August in response to the Black Lives Matter climate as well as the need to adapt to a pandemic context of sharing work and staying connected.
The screenings - in partnerships with local venues and activists in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Bristol - will be accompanied by roundtable discussions digging deep into the film’s key themes and messages. Joining the filmmakers in conversation will be Kadi Johnson, Sheku Bayoh’s sister.