The Force presents a deep look inside the long-troubled Oakland Police Department in California as it struggles to confront federal demands for reform, civil unrest in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and layers of inefficiency and corruption. A young police chief, hailed as a reformer, is brought in to complete the turnaround at the very moment the #BlackLivesMatter movement emerges to demand police accountability and racial justice in Oakland and across the nation. Despite growing public distrust, the Oakland Police Department is garnering national attention as a model of police reform. But just as the department is on the verge of a breakthrough, the man charged with turning the department around faces the greatest challenge of his career—one that could not only threaten progress already made, but the very authority of the institution itself. Screening followed by discussion with Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, co-director, US Program, HRW in conversation with filmmaker Peter Nicks.

“This film is extremely relevant, and contributes to the conversation about police training, use of force, corruption, culture and accountability.”

—John Raphling, senior researcher, US Program, Human Rights Watch

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