Police Brutality

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Today we feature 22 educational documentaries and shorts on police brutality and people organizing against it in New York, Oakland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, Albany, and Ferguson. 


The Throwaways

Highly recommended by Educational Media Reviews Online!

A personal exploration of the devastating impact of police brutality and mass incarceration on the black community told through the eyes of formerly incarcerated activist and filmmaker Ira McKinley. With a raw and powerful urgency, the film speaks directly to the national movement rising and fighting back against a wave of police killings of black people in America. (Bhawin Suchak & Ira McKinley, 2014, 62 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/cpage.aspx?rec=1419&card=price

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#Bars4Justice a.k.a. Bars4Justice

On the anniversary of Mike Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri, a benefit concert in commemoration of his life was organized by Hip-Hop and civil rights activists including Common, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Renita Lamkin, Cornell West, Rosa Clemente, Jasiri Smith, Bree Newsome, and Rahiel Tesfamariam. The concert was abruptly interrupted when the activists found out that a Black teen had been shot by Ferguson police officers that night. To address the shooting, the performers gave more than their talent when they came face to face with the justice system in Ferguson, Missouri. (Queen Muhammad Ali & Hakeem Khaaliq, 2015, 9 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/cpage.aspx?rec=1443&card=price

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Latino Poets Speakout

Three shorts featuring performances by some of New York City's vanguard Latino poets: KILLKILLKILL by Jesus Papoleto Melendez (5 Min) GOD BLESS AMERICA by Mariposa (2 min), and TAMALES IN JA… (Renata Gangemi & Ruben Gonzalez, 2005, 10 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=1136&card=price

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Radio Haiti

New York's Haitian community takes it to the Brooklyn Bridge to protest a year of mortal policing. On April 20, 2000, 10,000 Haitians and other New Yorkers marched across the bridge to dem… (Moira Tierney, 2002, 4 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=694&card=price

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Rain tells the bleak story of two kids, Jose and Nicky, who are spotted by a policeman while playing with a toy gun. What starts as a childish game, quickly turns into a real-life horror show, as they… (Veena Cabreros-Sud, 1997, 4 min., BW, US) 

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=1023&card=price

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Birth of a Nation: 4*29*1992

After criminal charges were dropped against four Los Angeles police officers accused in the brutal beating of Rodney King, Los Angeles erupted. This video offers a rare view of the rebellion that bega… (Matthew McDaniel, 1993, 60 min., Color, US)

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State of Emergency: Inside the LAPD

An investigative documentary on police brutality looks at the Los Angeles Police Department following the beating of Rodney King. Containing hard-hitting footage of police violence, the tape also … (Julia Meltzer & Elizabeth Canner, 1993, 28 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=697&card=price

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This beautifully shot film depicts the brutal and daily occurrence of police violence. AMBUSHED uses experimental narrative techniques to delve into the life and consciousness of two generations of Afr… (Jared Katsiane, 1992, 12 min., BW, US)

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The Nation Erupts

Focusing on nationwide responses in the wake of the Rodney King verdict. Grassroots producers across the country reflect on the media coverage of the resulting L.A. uprising and its aftermath. Communi… (Not Channel Zero, 1992, 60 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=965&card=price

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Black and Blue

A powerful mix of archival material, news clips and documentary footage chronicles impassioned community response to decades of deadly force against people of color by members of the Philadelphia poli… (Hugh King & Lamar Williams, 1987, 58 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=765&card=price

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The People United

Boston, 1978: It was an intense period of racial conflict over school bussing and escalating incidents of police brutality in the predominantly Black section of Roxbury. In the wake of growing racial … (Alonzo Speight, 1985, 60 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=762&card=price

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Race Against Prime Time

An award-winning documentary about TV news and racial conflict in Miami. In 1980, Arthur McDuffie, an African American community worker, was brutally kicked, beaten and clubbed to death by Miami po… (David Shulman, 1985, 60 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=865&card=price

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From Spikes to Spindles

This raw, gutsy portrait of New York's Chinatown captures the early days of an emerging consciousness in the community. We see a Chinatown rarely depicted, a vibrant community whose young and old join… (Christine Choy, 1976, 46 min., Color, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=785&card=price

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Alexander Street Press: video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/from-spikes-to-spindles


People's Park (Newsreel #33)

In the late 1960s, the University of California at Berkeley began buying up and destroying a nearby area populated by hippies, the poor, and other members of the counter-culture. In retaliation, the … (Newsreel, 1969, 25 min., BW, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=891&card=price

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Pig Power (Newsreel #23)

As students take to the streets in New York and Berkeley, the state violence that follows illustrates Chicago Mayor Daley's thesis that the police are there "to preserve disorder".... (Newsreel, 1968, 6 min., BW, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=1458&card=price

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Alexander Street Press: video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/pig-power-newsreel-23


Haight, The (Newsreel #21)

The San Francisco Haight community fights in the streets to defend their culture against brutal police oppression. Made by San Francisco Newsreel.... (San Francisco Newsreel, 1968, 6 min., BW, US)

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Black Panther a.k.a. Off the Pig (Newsreel #19)

A compelling document of the Black Panther Party leadership in 1967. This film contains a prison interview with Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton as well as an interview with Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver, footage of the aftermath of the police assault against the Los Angeles Chapter headquarters, demonstrations to free Huey at Hutton Memorial Park and the Alameda County Court House and a recitation of the party's Ten-Point Platform by co-founder Bobby Seale. One of Newsreel's most widely distributed films, BLACK PANTHER was originally released as "Off the Pig." This short film features drawings from activist artist Emory Douglas. (San Francisco Newsreel, 1968, BW, 5 minutes, US) 

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=883&card=price

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Chicago Convention Challenge (Newsreel #17)

Using footage taken in the midst of demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention of 1968, this film conveys the immediacy of anti-war organizing in meeting rooms, at rallies and in the str… (Newsreel, 1968, 17 min., BW, US)

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Columbia Revolt (Newsreel #14)

In April 1968, black and white students rebelled against the university administration, occupying five buildings, including the president's office in one of the first campus revolts of the Civil Right…(Newsreel, 1968, 50 min., BW, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=886&card=price

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Alexander Street Press: video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/columbia-revolt-newsreel-14


April Film, The, a.k.a. Chicago, April 27th (Newsreel #13)

The Chicago police force, getting in shape for the violence of August, tests its cubs and mace against unsuspecting anti-war marchers. Made by Chicago Newsreel.... (Newsreel, 

1968, 25 min., BW, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=1452&card=price

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Riot-Control Weapons (Newsreel #9)

A visual presentation of some of the weapons that the police were using in uprisings around the country in the late 60s.... (Newsreel, 1968, 6 min., BW, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=1448&card=price

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Filmed as the official statement of the Youth International Party, this film is as freewheeling and irreverent as the Yippies themselves. It presents an overview of 1968 Chicago, Mayor Daley, and the…(YIPPIE, 1968, 10 min., BW, US)

DVD: twn.org/catalog/pages/responsive/cpage.aspx?rec=904&card=price

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Alexander Street Press: video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/yippie


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Roselly Torres

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