To protect and to serve is the motto that began, in 1955, with the Los Angeles Police Department and was further adopted by many other police forces. African, African-American and Latino citizens recite that credo with a practiced sneer because our history of continued harassment, unfair “profiling,” bogus arrests and murder-by-cop is thick with proof that what the Police Department “says on paper” and what they practice often—too often—don’t match and never have matched, to be frank about it.

Most U.S. citizens of color do not feel safe around police officers, and although I am slinging an opinion without irrefutable evidence, I offer this: Do you feel safe calling the police officers of this fine city to “protect and serve” you?

On Sept. 22 and 23 there will be a special screening of the documentary “Copwatch.” Friday, Sept. 22, it will be screened at Metrograph Cinema (7 Ludlow St.) and Saturday, Sept. 23, at Maysles Cinema (343 Malcom X Blvd.) at 7 p.m.

“Copwatch” profiles the organization, WECOPWATCH, which records police misconduct as a nonviolent form of protest and deterrent to police brutality. The documentary features candid interviews with the people who filmed the fatal arrests of Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and Michael Brown, as well as protests in Ferguson, Mo. 

 For all those outside of New York, the powerful documentary heads to video on demand on Sept. 29.

For additional information on the film and the organization please take a moment and check out the links below.

Official trailer:

Conversation between Ramsey Orta (Eric Garner) and Kevin Moore (Freddie Gray):

Information about other films: