Synopsis

Former policemen and the public speak to the audience about the functioning of an unbelievable two-tier criminal justice system with police officers in the middle.  Over the past few years, social media has helped to bring stories about unarmed killings in neighborhoods of color by police officers to the public eye. Is the tradeoff for crime control replacing public safety from the very people who are supposed to protect them?  The infamous blue code of silence has made it unclear if anything will be done to address these concerns. With this question in mind, we found four former officers; Bell, Marquis, Model, and Fogg willing to speak with us about public concerns and life behind the blue wall. Unveiling the pressures of modern-day policing, all discuss the nature of enforcement in communities of color, zeroing in on struggles and bureaucracy.  Officers bestow they are bound to policies emphasis statistics over human dignity. They found themselves at odds with departmental values in a broken criminal justice system. Whether governed by a shallow policing under Compstat, COINTEL or the War on Drugs, these officers found themselves unceasingly stuck in the middle of policymakers, and the community despite their convictions.

‘Concern’ is a prevalent theme from those who live under the constant presence of these authority figures in their districts.  Compstat is an unknown term to most people, but to urban areas impacted by its use, it resembles harassment, targeting, and hostility. Some of those we interviewed express having no voice objecting this treatment.  American Civil Liberties Union, advocates, groups, and professors recognize misconduct, targeting, how Compstat number driven method wedges a further divide while openly valuing imprisonment over recovery.  Through the progression of the film, systematic prejudice is visible but most apparent when Amadou Diallo’s Mother Kadiatou Diallo, Eric Garner’s Mother Gwen Carr, Sean Bell’s father William Bell, and Nicholas Heyward Jr.’s father Heyward Senior aims to vindicate by justice. Incidentally, they have matured into advocates for reform. Their stories inspire unity, courage, and examples of how to approach injustice with grace and perseverance.