Remembering PC Keith Blakelock: On 6th October 1985, a mob killed PC Keith Blakelock in the line of duty during a riot on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, London.
PC Blakelock was part of a unit (Serial 502) of 10 constables, and one sergeant dispatched to protect firemen tackling a fire on the estate.
When rioters (armed with knives, machetes, baseball bats, bricks, and petrol bombs) forced the officers back, Blakelock stumbled and fell.
Attacked without mercy by the mob, he received over 40 stabbing injuries inflicted by machetes and knives.
Blakelock also had a six-inch-long knife buried in his neck.
All the while, the mob screamed: “Kill the pigs!”
Keith died on the way to the North Middlesex Hospital.
He became the first police officer killed by a mob in over 150 years.
Life would never be the same for any of the policemen and firemen who were there that day.
Keith Blakelock and the other constables of Serial 502 were awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for bravery in 1988.
Their sergeant, David Pengelly, who — armed with a shield and truncheon — placed himself in front of the crowd to save Blakelock and another officer, received the George Medal, awarded for acts of great bravery.
The death of Cynthia Jarrett
The death of Cynthia Jarrett, who lived on the Broadwater Farm Estate, led to the riot.
Police stopped her son’s car because of an out of date tax disc.
They believed he had stolen the car, and they arrested him.
While her son (Floyd) was in custody, police searched Cynthia Jarrett’s home.
Unfortunately, Cynthia became distressed and suffered a fatal heart attack.
The local community felt that her death was a consequence of an unwarranted police search of her home.
They also felt that there was no evidence to suggest her son had done anything wrong other than have an out of date tax disc.
A peaceful protest march to the local police station led to anger.
Despite calls to remain calm, rioting — described as the most violent ever seen in this country — erupted.
Remembering PC Keith Blakelock
My thoughts go out to all the friends and family of Keith Blakelock.
He paid a heavy price for his devotion to his job.
However, he will never be forgotten.
RIP Keith Blakelock.
The Police Memorial Trust: PC Keith Blakelock.