Top 5 documentaries uncovering police brutality

Overstepping the line between maintaining law and order, and outright oppression appears to be on the rise all over the world. From the slums of Brazil, the jungles of the Philippines, to the streets of American cities, police forces take the law unto themselves. Incidents of apparent police brutality have become commonplace. RTD’s series of police brutality documentaries look at how the forces sworn to protect and serve are doing little to uphold their oath. Here are the top 5 police brutality documentaries:

1. Once Upon A Crime

In the United States, hundreds of people die every year at the hands of the police. One man has been leading the call for more accountability. Miguel Francis-Santiago investigates cases of alleged police brutality, in an effort to bring justice for those who have died. In the documentary Once Upon A Crime, Miguel meets victims of alleged police brutality and the celebrities campaigning for the cause.

2. Yellow Vest Fever

The documentary follows a protest movement that swept across France in 2018. As the protests grow, so does the reaction of the state with increased police brutality toward the demonstrators. The film documents the police violence against the ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters, and the negotiations to get a fairer society that sparked the demonstrations.

3. Project Duterte

In the Philippines President Duterte has pledged to fight terrorism and drugs. However, his methods have been criticised as brutal and undemocratic. The documentary Project Duterte examines the programme to use heavily-armed police and ‘death squads’ to combat criminality. The result is vigilante justice with bodies left of the street as a warning to others, and spreading fear amongst the whole population.

4. Black Lives series

The series of documentaries under the title Black Lives looks at what it’s like to be a young black man in the United States today. The apparent cycle of underachievement, becoming prey to drug pushers, and eventual incarceration. The films look at the brutalisation of the Black minority, and how the community is fighting back for its self-esteem.

5. FavelaLive

In the drug and crime-ridden slums of Brazil, young people are trying to reclaim their future. Caught between the drug gangs and the police young Brazilians see both as evil. FavelaLive looks at the efforts to get the young kids out of the firing line. Volunteers have set up clubs to keep the young safe and off the streets, giving them a chance for a more normal life.

There are many more thought-provoking police brutality documentaries to be found at