In an election year where candidates fight like reality show contestants and unarmed young men/women dying at rapid numbers on the other end of bullets discharged by police officers around the country, there is no time better than now for filmmakers to turn the lens shedding light on the injustices in the black communities.
Right on the heels of Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed Netflix documentary 13th is what I like to call the brother documentary – Do Not Resist.
10 Days after the death of yet another unarmed black youth, Michael Brown, Ferguson residents are protesting and awaiting the fate of officer Darren Wilson. All of this, despite a midnight curfew set in place for all residents of the Missouri municipality. Being raised in St. Louis, Missouri, you can see why all of this would be of interest to me personally.
DO NOT RESIST is a powerful exploration of the militarization of our police force in the United States. The Tribeca Film Festival BEST DOCUMENTARY WINNER puts viewers in the center of the action – Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown; to the all too familiar sight of law enforcement in full riot gear and armored tanks driving through peaceful protests; to a ride-along with a South Carolina SWAT team; to a front row seat inside a police training seminar that teaches the importance of “righteous violence”; to the floor of a congressional hearing on the proliferation of military equipment in small-town police departments – before exploring where technology could lead the field next.
DO NOT RESIST focuses on the ever changing history of community and policing and the continuing militarization of our police force. The film offers an unflinching look at the current state of law enforcement in America and a glimpse into the future.
Interviews are done with a variety of subjects, but the one who made my blood boil the most was with a Sheriff from my home state coupled with an ex-military official who trains police officers nationwide. Dave Grossman is the #1 trainer of all United Staes Military and Local Law Enforcement and wholeheartedly believes that “violence IS your tool and remedy”. He also said, “You are mean and women of violence. You must master it or it will destroy you”. Really??!!
Mr. Grossman’s books are “required” reading at the FBI and police academies throughout the U.S. No wonder we are practically living the existence of a third world country. The very entity who is suppose to “protect and serve” communities are being trained to take communities down “by any means necessary”.
Not only that people, but since 911 Homeland Security has given police departments nationwide billions of dollars in grants to purchase equipment. What type of equipment? Tanks aka MRAP’s (armored vehicles) that cost us as American taxpayers 1.2 Million to manufacture are being issued to towns that have little to no violence and very low populations.
This is a lot to take in as a civilian, so I enlisted the assistance of the filmmaker Craig Atkinson to shed some light on the situation. Take a listen to his interview .
Do Not Resist was in limited release on September 30th and can now be seen nationwide.