The one-and-a-half-hour installment of the popular series “draws on unique on-the-ground reporting and filming, from the earliest days after George Floyd’s death, to documenting the trial and murder conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin, to ongoing struggles for police accountability and reform in Minneapolis.”
It features never-before-published video of prior uses of force by Chauvin; exclusive interviews with former senior police officers who say they faced repercussions for speaking out about problems within the department; and intimate conversations with members of George Floyd’s family, as events unfolded over time in Minneapolis.
The episode was produced as part of Frontline’s Local Journalism Initiative by the team at Frontline in partnership with the Star Tribune, whose journalists won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for their coverage of George Floyd’s murder and the protests that followed. Police on Trial was produced in association with the Center for Asian American Media and is supported by The WNET Group’s Exploring Hate initiative. This special collaboration offers a one-of-a-kind view of a police killing personal to our community that had ramifications around the world.
Police on Trial reveals that Chauvin’s troubling use of force was the product of a system and culture that enabled bad behavior, and it shows the difficulty the city has had enacting lasting change, despite vocal calls for reform — a problem confirmed in a scathing new report from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights that found the city’s police has engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination over the past decade and failed to hold problem officers accountable.
The killing of George Floyd deeply affected and continues to affect our community every day. This film depicts many moments from the summer of 2020 with great detail. It provides an opportunity to dig deeper into the accounts of what happened on the day Floyd was killed and those that have followed. We know that many of our viewers have a personal connection with this event and may find this film to be difficult to watch. TPT has a collection of resources compiled by Kevin Dragseth on the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death specifically for those dealing with the impacts of racialized trauma that some may find helpful.
Police on Trial covers complicated and nuanced subject matter surrounding race, police brutality, and police reform in the city of Minneapolis. Frontline welcomes comments, concerns, or questions about their reporting at [email protected]. We also encourage viewers to dig deeper into these subjects by utilizing resources that TPT has produced over the last two years, including:
You can also access our entire Racism Unveiled collection for more information related to this topic.
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