Parents' Guide to

16 Shots

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Sobering docu about racism and corruption in Chicago.

Movie NR 2019 82 minutes
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This sobering documentary reveals the details behind the fatal police shooting of a young Black man and how a community rose to challenge police politics, corruption, and racism. Much of the narrative is focused on explaining how the Chicago P.D. -- which has a long history of failing to account for police misconduct (especially as it relates to Black men) -- was forced to answer for what happened to Laquan McDonald. Activists express a sense of achievement about this, but it's tempered by interviews with members of law enforcement, who still argue that the police actions being characterized as racist and corrupt are both justified and necessary.

16 Shots notes the changes that took place after Van Dyke's indictment, including the creation of a task force to initiative police reform, the election of Kim Foxx, whose win over Anita Alvarez makes her the first African-American woman in charge of Cook County State's Attorney's Office, and Rohm Emanuel's refusal to run for a third term as mayor. It also points to Jason Van Dyke's light sentence -- and the backlash from local police -- as examples of how systematic racism and corruption are still being reinforced. Ultimately, there are no happy endings here, but 16 Shots certainly leaves you with a lot to think about.

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