Resisting police abuse forum in Los Angeles

On Sept. 21, the British documentary titled “The Hard Stop” was presented at the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice in Los Angeles, as part of a series of screenings through different cities in the United States. 

The event, chaired by Rebecka Jackson of Struggle – La Lucha, included Dr. Mychal Odom from San Diego as well as Marcus Knox-Hooke and Kurtis Henville, longtime friends of Mark Duggan, who was slain by London police in 2011. 

“The Hard Stop,” directed by George Amposah and produced by Dianne Walker, tells the story of Mark Duggan`s assassination by a police officer–whose name is still undisclosed–during a “hard stop” in Tottenham, England, in 2011. This shooting was reminiscent of the 1985 police invasion of Cynthia Jarrett’s home, also in Tottenham, causing her heart-attack death. Both deaths led to uprisings that spread out of Tottenham and, as the film shows, brought members of all ethnic groups of the community together demanding justice. 

Henville and Knox-Hooke dispelled the myth that British police do not carry guns, stating that, at least in the Black neighborhoods, they do carry guns. Furthermore, they explained that a “hard stop” is a tactic used by police that involves using three vehicles to block a suspect`s vehicle on the back, front and road side, forcing a stop. In the case of Mark Duggan, it was a hard stop not only to his car, but also to his life and any dreams he had. It was also the start of a long period of suffering and hardships for his family and friends and a quest for justice that, after eight years, is still going on. Change the places, change the names, and we see that police treatment of dark skin people is the same.

Dr. Mychal Odom pointed out the similarities between Britain and the U.S. police state, its targeting of poor and dark-skinned people, and the lack of justice for the victims of police crimes. At the end of the documentary, comments were made and questions were directed to Henville and Knox-Hooke.