The media source I chose for this post was the movie, The Hate U Give. This movie (https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B07T1HMX5V/ref=atv_dl_rdr?autoplay=1) was produced by George Tillman Jr. and premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2018, and was released in the United States on October 5, 2018. This movie follows the main character Starr Carter, a black teenager who switches between her black community and the wealthy prep school their parents sent them too.
The movie starts off by Starr’s dad, Maverick, teaching her and her siblings what to do if a police officer stops the car, they are in. Put your hands on the dashboard and do what they say. The movie then jumps to when Starr was sixteen and balancing her social life in two circles. Her friend invites her to a party to help her fight when she runs into her lifelong friend, Khalil. Their romantic conversation was interrupted by gun shots, so they ran to his car and drove away safely. Until just a couple minutes later, when he is driving Starr home he gets pulled over. When the cop walked up to his window, he was very aggressive which led Khalil to ask him what he had done wrong. When that was asked, the officer became more upset and told him to get out of the car to search him for weapons. When searching for weapons, he found nothing but Khalil’s wallet, which he takes back to the police car. Then he failed to do what Starr’s father always told her to do when approached by a police officer. He reached into the window and asked her if she was okay and reached for his brush. The officer then instantly fired three rounds at Khalil killing him. After handcuffing Starr next to her dying friend, the officer screams for him to show the weapon only to find a hairbrush sitting next to him. After experiencing two of her best friends’ deaths, Starr suffers from PTSD and seems to wonder around unsure of what she is still doing there at all. Her classmates do not relate or understand her problems whatsoever which makes it much harder for her. She goes through everyday dealing with people saying stuff to her and having publicity that she was never used to. But having the publicity she does, she uses it to her advantage. When protesting she was always afraid to use her voice because she was the witness, and nobody knew that. When the final protest came and police started loading out with riot shields and bombs, she knew it was her time. She grabbed the megaphone and told everyone that she was the witness and saw the whole thing. She screamed for Khalil’s justice along with everyone else and was proving a point.
This movie confirms much of what I have learned in not only this class, but most of my criminology classes. It takes the time to explain the inequalities and barriers African Americans face in the everyday life. In our class, we learned about racial profiling and police brutality which reflects this movie to its core. The Stanford Open Policing Project did a study, “The data show that officers generally stop black drivers at higher rates than white drivers…”( E. Pierson, C. Simoiu, J. Overgoor, S. Corbett-Davies, D. Jenson, A. Shoemaker, V. Ramachandran, P. Barghouty, C. Phillips, R. Shroff, and S. Goel, vol. 4). This is a perfect example on what happened to Khalil. The officers reasoning for pulling him over was he did not use a turn signal when switching lanes, but how many people a day do you see doing that? It is proof that he was pulled over because of his skin color. This content confirms so much of what we have learned, but one that sticks out to me is the famous case of Tamir Rice. Who was a twelve year old boy playing with a toy gun in a park in Cleveland, Ohio. As explained, “An eyewitness called 911 and told the dispatcher that there was someone in the park waving a gun, describing the person as “probably juvenile” and the gun as “probably fake” (Fairfax, 218). When the officers showed up without hesitation, they instantly shot him. Without even questioning or investigating him. The grand jury failed to file charges in Tamir’s case just like Khalil’s, but it is known that if a police officer is involved in a shooting, they are less likely to be indicted.
The content of this movie really made me mad because it still continues to happen. This movie did such a great job of presenting the issues and barriers blacks face in our communities. I knew that there is such a huge issue with police and blacks, but this movie delivers these messages in such emotional ways. It was like I could feel how Starr felt. This movie opened my eyes a lot, especially being from Pittsburgh and having the Antwon Rose case in my area. Incidence like these make me want to make a change in the criminal justice system and the ways officers interact with blacks.