Filmmaker Ava DuVernay is urging writers, dancers, poets, and other artists to help make the names of abusive police officers as well known as their victims. This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.
DuVernay aims to hold police accountable through art
"I think it's unacceptable.
I think it's a national blind spot." Through a new initiative, filmmaker Ava DuVernay is aiming to re-shape the conversation about police brutality.
"We, the people, can hold the officers who are sworn to protect and serve us, we can hold them accountable and so our way of doing it is by telling the story and by shining a light on these issues." The director behind films such as “Selma” and “13th,” has launched the Law Enforcement Accountability Project or LEAP meant to support artists who tell stories about police violence, an issue that gained renewed attention following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police.
DuVernay: "To be able to casually murder someone while you are being filmed is only because you know that nothing is going to happen to you and until this case, this George Floyd case, more often than not, nothing did happen.
That officer had 18 prior disciplinary complaints - 18!
I don't know many places in America where you can have 18 complaints and still be on the job, right?
And training other officers.
So there's something skewed here, there's something flawed and what LEAP tries to do is to say we can't fix it unless we can name and see it and shine a light on it." The project comes amid a surge in viewership in television series, movies and documentaries about the black experience in the U.S. The effort will commission projects from film, literature, poetry, fine art and music.
DuVernay says the first one will be released in August.