New documentary addresses issue of police violence towards people with disabilities

a woman with the words They Killed My Baby

Police brutality has been a topic of discussion and concern for decades – but the last several years in particular have highlighted the issue of police disproportionately targeting marginalized people with extreme violence. In the newly released documentary Where Is Hope? – The Art of Murder, the problem of police violence towards people with disabilities in particular is explored. The film premiered this month, on October 19th, in select venues in the Bay Area in California.

The purpose of the documentary is not only to raise awareness of the issue of police targeting people with disabilities, but also to prompt discussion around this very real and current issue, and to examine how this issue interacts with the similar issue of police treatment of African American people.

A common contributor to the blog Amoeblog, an affiliate of Amoeba Music, Leroy Moore, is heavily involved in the film. Working with director Emmitt H. Thrower, Moore co-produced the film and contributed to its soundtrack.

Moore is one of the film’s two main subjects, and is credited with founding the ‘Krip-Hop’ movement, which speaks of and to the experiences of hip hop artists with disabilities. Moore has cerebral palsy, and his art work includes rap, poetry, and advocacy.

According to Amoeblog, the film focuses on two main subjects, while also telling the story of the “incident of Jason Harrison who was shot and killed by Dallas, Texas police. He was the schizophrenic 38-year-old African American man who was shot and killed by white police officers in front of his own mother on the doorstep of their home after she herself had called 911 for support with her mentally ill son so she could get him to the hospital.” Allegedly, Harrison was holding a screwdriver, but was not acting violently. The officers killed him. They were not indicted.

According to Moore, the film will serve “as a tool to facilitate forums with discussions around this topic.”

You can learn more about the documentary Where Is Hope? – The Art of Murder, at the film’s website and by checking out the film’s trailer below.

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of Rooted in Rights. In addition, this trailer may be disturbing, as it contains depictions of police violence against people with visible disabilities. 

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.