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2014 has been extremely positive and progressive for OPP and our documentary Stop and Search – A Misuse of Power?  

During the year we have carried out a significant number of interviews in France and the UK and our documentary has progressed from the production to the post production stage. We have hired two production assistants: Shadé Bull and Rochelle Dowden-Lord: who have both proven to be dedicated, diligent and hard working and have allowed our operations in both jurisdictions to become more widespread and efficient. 

We have also been instrumental in establishing a pro bono scheme where alleged victims of unlawful or unjustified stop and searches in the UK can obtain legal advice on a pro bono basis- look out for more on this in 2015 and more details in relation to the type of organisations that are supporting us with this. 

We have finally produced our T shirt designs (please see the designs below) which, for those who contributed to our crowd funding campaign, will be reaching your postal addresses in early 2015. Thank you for your patience with this.

During 2014 alone we conducted interviews with:

UK

·Nick Glynn (Vice President of the National Black Police Association and Leicestershire Police Inspector who has been appointed by the Home Secretary Theresa May to reform the way police  forces across the country use stop and search powers).

·Duwayne Brooks (Former Liberal Democrat Councillor and Former Candidate for Mayor of Lewisham).

·Mahamed Hashi (Stop and Search Chair for the Borough of Lambeth (London) and Managing Director of New Beginnings Youth).

·Fiyaz Mughal O.B.E. (Founder and Director Faith Matters).

·James Welch (Legal Director at Liberty.

·Asif Sadiq (President of the National Association of Muslim Police and City of London Police Officer).

·Darcus Howe (British broadcaster and civil liberties campaigner).

·Tom McNeil (Labour Candidate for Meridien).

France

·Lilian Thuram (Former Professional Football Player. World Cup Winner (France, 1994) & Founder of the Lilian Thuram Foundation).

·Lanna Hollo (Legal Consultant with the Open Society Justice Initiative an international non profit organisation lead by George Soros).

·Fabien Jobard (Director of CESDIP an institution that collated key research on alleged racial profiling in France ).

·Felix de Belloy (French lawyer and partner at the law firm Belloy Gauvain).

·Nicola Hirsch (Doctorial Candidate from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA with a focus on racial profiling).

·Sihame Assbauge (Leader of Collectif Stop le contrôle au faciės– stop racial profiling ).

·Ladji Real (French film maker and  a member of Collectif Stop le contrôle au faciės- stop racial profiling).

·Elsa Ray (Collectif Contre L’Islamophobie en France).

·Slim Benachour (French lawyer (partner) involved with the class action law suit against the state in relation to racial profiling).

In France, visiting the location where the 2005 riots began in Clichy Sous Bois was a memorable experience. We were shown around the town by a classmate of Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré – two of the boys that were fatally electrocuted. The factory where the incident occurred stands today in a quiet residential area – its horrific past discretely covered but never forgotten by the residents of Clichy Souis Bois.

We also met with the inspirational Lilian Thuram and interviewed two French partners of law firms about their attempts to change the law in France regarding stop and searchas well as strengthening our relationship with the Collectif Stop le contrôle au faciės (avoluntary grass roots organisation in France) in relation to stop and search and we thank and applaud them for their insight, hospitality and brave work.

2014 has shown us that our documentary is vital in the present day given the number of horrific incidents  that we have seen worldwide this year most notably and recently in Louisiana (Ferguson) and New York.

If 2014 was the year when progress was made, 2015 will be the year of adding the finishing touches to our project. Editing for the documentary is finally underway and it’s been a delight to see that after two and a half years of work, the documentary has finally taking form and we thank you for all your continued support and will be in touch with regular updates in 2015 in the run up to the launch!

Happy New Year from us to you all!

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