‘Survivor’s Guide to America’ Pro-Tip: Aggressive Officers


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Welcome to Part Two of an ongoing series we are calling the “Survivor’s Guide to America.”

I’m a documentary filmmaker who interviewed a large number of formerly incarcerated men over the course of 3 years as well as prison reform advocates, restorative justice mediators and lawyers at the ACLU and Innocence Project. What I found out was that the rate of returning to prison within 5 years is 80%. That’s an 80% failure rate. And that our system is in desperate need of major reforms. The “Survivors Guide” title is meant to be provocative and challenge the public at large to consider what it means for us to survive the prison as we know it — as a society.

I will be addressing issues at the forefront of the debate in our society, offering viewers “pro-tips” for handling some of the systemic challenges that continue to face millions of Americans every day. We hope that these videos will engage audiences in social activism in the pursuit of human values.

As a disclaimer: This is not legal advice, but inspiration for criminal justice reform. Consult a lawyer for local laws.

Today’s subject is dealing with aggressive law enforcement officers.

LESSON: Always be polite, avoid confrontation, say nothing, get a lawyer.
FACT: US law enforcement arrests over 12 Million Americans a year. That means over the course of a single year, one in 25 Americans was arrested.
FACT: At least 70 police departments scattered from Connecticut to California arrested black people at a rate 10 times higher than people who are not black, USA TODAY found.
FACT: The U.S. government doesn’t track how many citizens are killed by the police.
FACT: FBI estimates the number is over 400 per year. Watchdog group estimates over 1,000 per year.
FACT: Even the lowest estimates far exceed other democratic, industrialized nations.