Copwatch directed by Camilla Hall, is a feature length documentary that explores the heroic efforts of civilians who record the police force while they’re committing injustices. It profiles a group of men from an organization/activist group called WeCopwatch.
There’s Jacob Crawford (co-founder) from Oakland, Calif., David Whitt (co-founder) from Ferguson, Mo., and Kevin Moore from Baltimore, Md., who captured Freddie Gray’s abuse by the police, and Ramsey Orta who recorded the infamous video of Eric Garner being strangled to death in Staten Island. The film follows the ins and outs of being a “cop-watcher” and highlights the social and economic conundrums that swallow young men of color into the system.
The doc extensively highlights Orta’s case, who’s now facing four years in prison for a slew of charges. When the video of Garner surfaced, Orta received national attention. Due to the recognition, his criminal record also landed in the spotlight. The film also discusses mass incarceration; dreams of escaping the ghetto; the law and corrupt cops; and raw footage of what catching a cop red-handed looks like.
Copwatch premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23, 2017. Watch the trailer below.