Do Not Resist

Do Not Resist

Documentary Film
72 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Laura Hartrick
Craig Atkinson
Grayson Sanders
Craig Atkinson
Craig Atkinson, Laura Hartrick
Scott Weber
Those were the days, when Hollywood allowed the world to laugh at American police recruits who stared at their guns as if they were flat irons! Of course reality was never like “Police Academy”. Today, however, regular police operations occasionally resemble cinema plots – of war movies. “Do Not Resist” opens with apocalyptic images from Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting of the 18-year-old African-American Mike Brown in August 2014 was followed by protests against police violence. In the heat of the night heavily armed policemen advance, guns ready, accompanied by an armoured car. What exactly is their mission here? And who protects the rights of the citizens?

Starting in Ferguson director Craig Atkinson embarks on an investigative journey through the U.S. to explore the police methods of tomorrow and finds a lively debate about militarisation and becoming a police state. It’s true: councillors in communities with non-existent crime rates decide to buy armoured cars. Ideologists like police trainer Dave Grossman cite the frontier metaphor and the good-versus-evil formula. Windows are smashed at random in police operations against a few grams of grass. And criminologists examine the technical potentials of early recognition of criminals. The slogan “Yes We Can” acquires a whole new meaning.

Lars Meyer