Around this time last year, the #blacklivesmatter movement was in full effect, following the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO (a suburb in my hometown of St. Louis).
I remember well the pit of my stomach when the verdict was read announcing yet another police officer would not be held accountable for flat-out murder of another teenager. Never mind the fact that Michael Brown was a black male. Never mind the fact that there have been numerous unarmed teens that were latino and/or female shot and/or killed while in police custody – handcuffed with no way to fight back even if they wanted to.
In 2015, there have been 1081 unarmed people killed at the hands of a police officer,
2014 and Jacksonville, Florida became internationally known for three reasons…the “Stand Your Ground” law, Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Like Martin, Davies was unarmed and gunned down in the back seat of a parked car. For what? Loud music. Yeah…you heard me right. Michael Dunn, while waiting for his fiance’ to grab some items at a gas station, was annoyed at the car full of young black teens playing “rap” music just a little too loud.
Unlike most documentaries of this nature, Director Marc Silver dissects this process from the moment the crime occurs , through two trials, the verdict and the heartbreaking turmoil experienced by both sides of this issue. For all involved Black Friday will forever have another meaning. “3 1⁄2 MINUTES, TEN BULLETS” won a Special Jury Award for Social Impact at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award.
This film stayed with me for several days. The anger and frustration that engulfed me as a woman of color in this country where often times we are judged “by the color of our skin and not the content of our character” overwhelmed me to tears.
What is happening in America people? Why are people so angry? More importantly, why are so many people running around with guns…just because? Who will be next and for what?
It is my sincere hope that anyone who is able get an opportunity to watch 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets as it screens this month on HBO. As Arsenio Hall used to say back int he day, this film is most definitely is one of those “things that make you go hmmmm”.