Black Lives Matter Cleveland Releases "State of Injustice" Documentary Series
“An unflinching, episodic look at the systemic abuses plaguing Ohio police”
CLEVELAND, OH—State of Injustice (stateofinjustice.com) is a new documentary series executive produced by Black Lives Matter Cleveland that takes an unflinching, episodic look at the systemic abuses plaguing Ohio police, one city at a time. The initial four-episode season explores police abuse in the city of Euclid, Ohio.
A crowdfunding campaign was launched today on Indiegogo to cover post production costs for the first season. Any additional funds raised will go towards season 2, which will examine some incredible examples of corruption and violent policing in the embattled city of East Cleveland.
The documentary opens with the death of Luke Stewart, a young Black man who was killed by Euclid police shortly after being woken up in his parked car. The story is largely told using the officers’ own audio testimony taken during state investigations, intercut with interviews from Stewart’s sister Terra, their attorney Sarah Gelsomino, and Kareem Henton of Black Lives Matter Cleveland. The first episode also touches on disturbing revelations about Euclid’s use-of-force training, a topic that is revisited in detail in the final episode.
Episode two will be released on the fourth commemorative of Stewart’s killing, March 13th. This installment exposes the commonality of aggressive tactics used by its majority White officers towards Black residents, as evidenced by the beatings of Lamar Wright and Richard Hubbard III.
The third episode will examine the racist roots of Euclid’s city government and policing, in the context of the present-day experiences of young people of color living in the majority Black suburb.
The season concludes with a thorough examination of what is and is not included in Euclid’s police training. In 2018, evidence of internal police training that made light of use of force was exposed in a lawsuit filed by the Stewart family. This documentary will reveal for the first time that in 2017 Euclid police hired the training services of controversial “Killology” expert, Lt. Dave Grossman.
The aggressive training that Euclid officers received was only half of the problem, though. The final episode will also highlight the legal research and analysis conducted by Mariah Crenshaw of Chasing Justice, LLC. Crenshaw’s investigation reveals a disturbing pattern of non-compliance with state training requirements for officers both in Euclid and in police departments across the state.
A portion of the funds will also be used towards the production of a website that will function as a comprehensive supplement to the series. Visitors to stateofinjustice.com will be able to review research materials, legal rulings, and extended interviews. In addition to these resources, those moved to take action will find various ways to donate their time or money.
State of Injustice was directed and edited by Roger Glenn Hill, an award-winning filmmaker (Huckleberry (2018), Flying Paper (2014) and Struggle (2012)). Local independent journalist Brian “BZ” Douglas served as co-producer, investigator, and art director. Both are based in Cleveland, Ohio.