Change can be complicated
The District. The documentary traces the complex history of African American police officers in Chicago. We follow the path of two officers, as they recall their careers from rookie officers to retirement. Directly showing how their experiences from the 80s, mirror the issues of today. With police murders dominating the headlines for years, and the overwhelming tension between the African-American community and various police departments across the country, this topic has never been more timely. I was drawn to this topic from a personal and professional standpoint. As a former member of a police conduct watchdog group and a current producer of ethnographic documentaries that highlight underrepresented communities, this project merged two elements of my life. These are personal stories, and these stories resonate socially and culturally. These are generational issues, however, there is little to no discussion on how a culture of racism transcends class and social standing. The subjects of this documentary will give new and insightful viewpoints on the community, a sense of duty, bigotry, class, and the civic engagement needed to combat decades-old tensions. The District is more than a documentary but a platform to start a conversation centered around the relationship between the African-American community and law enforcement.