VIDEO: Who Polices The Police?
(52minutes/UK/2012/Ken Fero/Migrant Media)
Sean Rigg dies in a caged area in Brixton Police Station in August 2008 and the Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) are called in to investigate. Sean’s family are shocked at the death and this soon turns to anger when the government appointed IPCC begin to make error after error in its inquiry – is it incompetence or collusion? Sean’s family begin a four year struggle to investigate the death themselves and in the process ask ‘Who Polices The Police?’
The film is a blow-by-blow account of their journey as they question the police officers accounts, visit the crime scene, speak to witnesses, examine evidence. Harrowing footage emerges that show the last moments of Sean’s life. The family watch in horror. The conclusion they come to – Sean died at the hands of the police.
Using powerful testimonies, poetry and a political analysis of police violence the film explores the tactics of the IPCC and, through the family of Sean Rigg, challenge its claim that it is independent of the police. Meanwhile the deaths the IPCC oversees continue.
Protecting the image of the police becomes an alter on which hundreds of people that have died in police custody are sacrificed. The IPCC administer last rites and no officers are ever successfully prosecuted for their crimes. In the film the facts of political appointments and ex-police officers leading the investigation teams are exposed. The might of the state is challenged by one family.
‘Who Polices The Police?’ builds fragments of reality, of memory and of resistance into a powerful document about a struggle for justice.
Migrant Media was established in 1989 and is a collective of radical film makers working in documentary production. It is a collective of media producers and activists embedded with communities of social and political interest. Migrant Media’s work has a focus on race and class with a central narrative of resistance.
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