United Kingdom: 7 Cops Injured at Cinema Brawl Over Rapper Film

Tuesday, 26 Nov, 2019

The brawl took place on the opening night of a movie about warring gangs, called Blue Story, however it was unclear whether the fight broke out at the same time as the movie was screening, the Guardian reports.

Vue says it has stopped viewings of the movie after 25 "significant incidents" shortly after its release.

Supt Ian Green said: 'This was a major outbreak of trouble which left families trying to enjoy a night out at the cinema understandably frightened. The trailer for Blue Story actually has footage of people wielding machetes so the parallels between art and life at least appear blurred here.

Six teenagers, including four 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old girl, were arrested in connection with the disorder and have been bailed by police.

A fight involving teenagers with machetes broke out at a movie theatre at the Star City leisure complex in Birmingham, England Saturday night.

A Vue spokesperson has refuted allegations of racism, stating: 'The safety and welfare of our customers and staff is always our first priority.

The hashtag @BoycottVue was trending on Twitter after the cinema chain's announcement.

Social commentator Patrick Vernon said there was no justification for the film's removal and BAME Lawyers For Justice, a group that advocates for ethnic minorities in England, has written an open letter demanding an explanation.

The officers hurt during the trouble had minor facial injuries.

Police were requested to the cineplex at around 5:30 p.m. when crowds of youthful people entered the theater area, some reportedly with machetes.

Aside from the 13 year old girl mentioned above that was arrested, there was also a boy and girl both age 14, a 19 year old man, and another 14 year old boy that obstructed police who were all arrested.

It follows the move by Vue, which operates a cinema at Star City, which said it will no longer be showing the film at any of its 91 United Kingdom venues.

The 15-rated film was developed by BBC Films, which declined to comment, and distributed by Paramount Pictures, which said it was "saddened" by events at Star City but noted it had received "incredibly positive reaction and fantastic reviews".

Rapman stressed that his film, which tells the story of a postcode war between gangs in London, is "about love, not violence".

The film's writer-director Andrew Onwubolu, known as Rapman, has condemned the disturbance, insisting his film is "about love, not violence".

In a statement, Vue said the decision to withdraw the movie was made "on grounds of safety alone" and "is not, as some have alleged, based on biased assumptions or concern about the content of the film itself".

Many arrests were made whilst many officers were injured attempting to cease the incident.