America’s simmering reckoning with systemic racism in policing finally detonated on Memorial Day weekend of this year – ground zero being the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), caught on a cell phone recording causing the death of George Floyd. Filmmaker Deirdre Fishel’s decision to document specific aspects of MPD’s culture starting in 2017 has proven to be eerily prescient, and her new film Women In Blue provides a devastating chronicle of the limitations of police reform through incremental change and asks questions that apply well beyond the city of Minneapolis.
In 2012, Native American Janeé Harteau became the first woman appointed chief of MPD, and for the next five years she worked to reform MPD by getting rid of bad cops, diversifying the ranks and promoting women—who statistically use less force than their male counterparts. Women in Blue focuses on four women in Harteau’s department, each trying to redefine what it means to protect and serve. Could increased gender equity and more women—especially women of color—contribute to greater public safety? But systemic racism issues and ongoing police misconduct frustrate Chief Harteau’s efforts to create change.
This screening is sponsored by Alacran Group.