“LA 92” is a 2017 documentary about the racial tensions that erupted into riots in Los Angeles in 1992. At the core of the unrest was the acquittal of four White police officers who had been caught on video savagely beating a Black man, Rodney King. The relatively light sentencing of a shopkeeper who shot and killed an unarmed Black girl who she thought was stealing also contributed to the unrest. The documentary explains these two contributing events but also explores the city’s decades long history of discrimination and ill-treatment of its Black population.
“They Can’t Kill Us All” by Wesley Lowery is a relatively recently published book detailing incidents of police shootings. And really also White vigilante shootings of Black people in America. Many of whom were unarmed. The book charts the author’s experience as a relatively new journalist. But it also discusses the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement in response to the killings of unarmed Black people.
“One Righteous Man” by Arthur Browne tells the story of Samuel Battle, the first Black police officer in New York City. In addition to braving the expected dangers of patrolling the streets Battle also had to contend with his fellow officers who felt he didn’t belong on the force. Over his decorated 40-year career Battle would fight crime but also discrimination and sabotage within the department.