Viola Davis tackles police brutality in Two Sides, a new TV One documentary series which airs from January 22 through mid-February. According to the Associated Press, the weekly docu-series (narrated by Davis) examines fatal police encounters involving black victims.
Two Sides revisits the stories of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old father placed in a fatal chokehold by an NYPD officer, Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old mentally ill man killed by two LAPD officers, 22-year-old John Crawford III, who was shot to death by an officer at an Ohio Walmart for carrying a toy gun, and 28-year-old Sandra Bland, whose death in police custody was ruled a suicide after she was pulled over by a Texas state trooper and subsequently arrested for a minor traffic violation.
The series features input from “law enforcement experts and independent observers,” along with appearances from Rep. Maxine Water, Rev. Al Sharpton and Christopher Darden, the co-prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
“Despite the fact that so many were caught on camera and so much in the public consciousness, it caused a divisiveness” Davis told AP. “We actually need to do something, but it never got to that point.”
Davis, who produced the project with her husband Julius Tennon and Lemuel Plummer, isn’t an attack on police, but aims to analyze society’s tendency to villainize black victims of brutality instead of questioning authority.
“I believe on both sides there is room for growth, and to be challenged and questioned,” she said. “We have to come to some kind of middle ground.”
Two Sides airs on every Monday through February 12 on TV One.