J.J. is a rookie in the Sheriff's Department and the first black officer at that station. Racial tensions run high in the department as some of J.J.'s fellow officers resent his presence. His only real friend is the other new trooper, the first female officer to work there, who also suffers similar discrimination in the otherwise all-white-male work environment. When J.J. becomes increasingly aware of police corruption during the murder trial of Teddy Woods, who he helped to arrest, he faces difficult decisions and puts himself into great personal danger in the service of justice.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Teddy Woods (Ice Cube) says. "Like the song says, 'My skin is my sin,'" which is the title of one of Cube's B-sides. See more »
At the beginning of the film Johnson's training officer, Chuck Gilmore, gets upset with him for not ticketing the woman in the red convertible for speeding and Gilmore decides to take over the wheel himself. Immediately after that we see their car chasing the red convertible again with a brief shot during the chase of Gilmore sitting in the passenger seat. See more »
Remarkable Depiction of what has, and what can happen
The movie sends a good message. As clichéd as it sounds: Absolute power corrupts absolutely. As other viewers have noted, this movie is low budget and not overtly action packed. But it does showcase very well what can happen when trying to fit in: Loosing sight of what is right and wrong, then trying to do what is right and getting penalized for it from different directions. Many movies do an awesome job in telling a tale. This is one of them. The message of being drunk with power and corruption among peers is something that is not only seen in the law enforcement institutions, but in the corporate and higher education areas as well. It just appears that corruption is more harmful in law enforcement because there is the higher probability that people may become physically and psychologically damaged (on the deepest level) as a result of corrupt people misusing their guns, badges, and utmost authority). The movie is more likely to hit home for someone who is female and/or a minority who has had some in-depth exposure to law enforcement. While many police officers are, for the most part, decent and on the level, I would say that EVERY law enforcement agency has some level of corruption occurring. The corruption can be a lone officer or two belittling citizens unjustifiably (and getting away with it), or a group of them who systematically abuse power. Perhaps a film like this would be worth mandatory viewing for new police recruits. There is something in it for everyone. Not only is there the lesson of how wrong and nasty discrimination is (especially in groups), but there is also the lesson of your own well meaning, however wrong actions, coming back to haunt you. And finally there is the lesson of how harassment, alienation and adversity are often used as cruel weapons in attempts get others to conform to wrongdoing.
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