“Middlemen” examines the impact of the criminal justice system and discusses if modern policing systems like Compstat, are driving down crime or justifying discrimination in communities of color.
“Middlemen” presents various perspectives of policing in communities of color. Each film digs into the infrastructure of prejudice embedded in the Criminal Justice System.
Film One peers through the lens of former officers who explain their version of policing which morphed over the years to numerical policing seen today as statistics and “performance measures” called Compstat. For those most aggressively policed by “Stop and Frisk” and targeted for low-level offenses, the outcome paves a path for incarceration. Eric Garner’s story is introduced as a tragedy that occurred as a result of an accumulation of policing and community issues. Through our investigation, it is revealed that Garner was a topic of discussion at a Compstat meeting.
Film Two in the trilogy takes a deeper look into police conduct that led to unarmed men being killed by law enforcement and how the criminal justice system treated these incidents.
Film Three peers deeper into mass incarceration, focusing closely on the role of police officers in an arrest. We question whether extreme enforcement of misdemeanor offenses is the best way to empower communities away from crime. This film also digs deeper into economic and political factors that have influenced the US to have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.
Weaving together stories of former officers and bereaved families the film pushes the narrative against a challenging and unbalanced criminal justice system.
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