“Until the killing of black men, black mother’s sons becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens”. – Ella Baker
One in 1,000 Black men in America can expect to be killed by a police officer. donnie, grandfather to three young Black boys, thinks about the entire generations that have been taken away from their futures, never to sit at a holiday dinner nor go on to raise their own children. “Stop Resisting” is a film produced by No Credits Productions LLC and award-winning director donnie l. betts. donnie focuses on policing in America with an emphasis on the Aurora, Colorado Police Department as a starting point. “Stop Resisting” examines policing practices and policies, city, and court policies, as well as the communal and individual impact of police brutality.
To produce this film, at this time, fills an urgent need: as a local and global community, we are grappling with the impact of racism, inequality, and the resulting dissension and unrest. We will discuss the multiple negative impacts that stem from the use of force on the community, on families, the cost to cities and their citizens, and on the police locally and nationally. As I write this proposal on July 3rd, 2022, news broke that Jayland Walker was shot at more than 60 times with 46 exit wounds in Akron, Ohio by police officers. How many more people have to die before we have the moral backbone to say no more? This has to stop.
Qualified immunity shields police and government officials from liability by requiring proof that an official violated “clearly established law” – putting the burden on victims to find an identical court case that found the action unconstitutional. This key element of the architecture of impunity amplifies police power and keeps them above the law and disproportionately impacts those targeted by law enforcement: people of color, Black people, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, unhoused individuals, and LGBTQ+ individuals. The film will feature an open and honest dialogue between law enforcement and the community, including multiple community members who have been directly impacted by the use of force. Specifically, we will highlight the long-term mental health impacts, and financial, psychological, and moral effects that police violence has including PTSD, depression, divorce, etc. “Stop Resisting” will reach white communities and/or allies to educate and inspire them toward holding policymakers, police, and community members accountable. Escalating the use of force by representatives of the law, against community members, affects us all. “Stop Resisting” will utilize a multitude of visual elements including the use of family photos of victims and survivors, cell phone footage, body cam footage, mural art, audio soundscape, dance, and spoken word as mediums of expression. Screenings will be in partner spaces, PBS, KweliTV, YouTube, and libraries. When possible, representatives from communities that are impacted, police, activists, and artists taking part in the conversation will be invited to attend.
“Stop Resisting” is told in three acts:
1) Historical – the inception of policing in the United States via slave patrols, Jim Crow, etc.
2) Present – the over-policing of marginalized communities, escalating use of force, the influence that District Attorneys and police unions have on policing, and the lack of transparency in policing practices and accountability. A major focus of part 2 will be the personal stories of the families impacted. For example, Alexander Landau was beaten almost to death by the Denver Police Department. His crime: asking for a warrant. The Michael Marshall family will contribute their story. Michael Marshall was choked and killed on camera in a Denver jail by Denver Sheriff Deputies. His crime: he couldn’t post a $100 bond. The Bonner family, Bobby and Brenda Bonner will be interviewed about their son Jamaal, who was shot three times in the back while laying face down on the floor of a small motel room in Aurora. His crime: none. No officers have faced any charges for these crimes.
3) Future of policing, specifically the mental health cost, financial cost to cities, and long-range trauma. This section will wrap with the need for – reform, reset, and rethinking policing in communities.
We are tired of hashtags and justice for none. This documentary goes beyond the tag lines, the news highlight reels, and the investigative journalism frenzy. “Stop Resisting” brings forward the visceral stories, told by the heartbroken families of brutalized and murdered victims of police violence. We tie together the tragedies at a personal level and the systemic oppression of communities that have been marginalized by the misuse of power in our law enforcement agencies, from the bottom up.
“Stop Resisting” is being developed and produced through collaboration with the following community leaders, organizations, and artists:
donnie betts – producer/director of “Stop Resisting”
Britta Erickson – producer – Britta Erickson is a producing partner at Denver-based, Listen Productions. She has made it her life’s work to connect storytellers with audiences. Her producing credits include Convention, Rolling Papers, Actor Martinez, and The Holly, all of which premiered at major film festivals and were sold for distribution. Additionally, she has served as a juror, panelist, and moderator at numerous film festivals, including SXSW.
Tamara Banks – contributing producer – Emmy Award-winning journalist Tamara Banks lives by her motto: “One Person Can Make a Difference.” Banks is a freelance TV news correspondent/producer, talk show host, and documentary filmmaker, focusing on social justice and dedicated to creating transformative social change through excellence in journalism. Her areas of expertise include social justice and political issues across the U.S. and internationally, particularly in South Sudan and Darfur. She also shines a light on other parts of the globe where there is little or no news coverage about crimes against humanity and genocide. Banks is currently based in Atlanta, GA where she continues to be on the frontlines of some of the most important stories across the country and around the world.
Daisy Corso – LGBTQ+ graphic artist for the film and advertisement art.
Michael Hancock – Editor, camera person for “Stop Resisting”. Michael’s family has been directly impacted by the use of force and the justice system.
Denver ACLU and National ACLU – Both organizations act as consultants and film producer donnie betts updated on current events related to police brutality.
Alexander Landau – Founder of the Denver Justice Project. An activist and survivor of police brutality, Alexander serves as a consultant and interviewee for the film.
Omar Montgomery – Executive Director of the Aurora NAACP, activist, and academic advisor. has been involved with the city of Aurora and review boards for Aurora Police Department. Omar will serve as a consultant and interviewee for the film.
Bobby and Brenda Bonner – Activists and family impacted by police violence. Bobby and Brenda are the parents of Jamaal Bonner who was shot and killed by Aurora Police in 2003. Their work has been influential in enacting local policy changes. Both will serve as consultants and interviewees of the film.
MAPB – “Mothers Against Police Brutality
Candice Bailey – Abolitionist and political candidate. Candice is a consultant and interviewee for the film.
Various Journalist Organizations – Local and national media news organizations such as VICE and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Mari Newman – advisor – Mari is a civil rights and employment law attorney who has dedicated her entire career to advocating on behalf of the underdog and disenfranchised against the entrenched power of government and corporations. She has received numerous awards for her work, including “Lawyer of the Year” in Denver for Civil Rights Law (2022)
Kristin Henning – advisor – author, The Rage of Innocence
Angela J. Davis – advisor – author, Policing The Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment
Jeff Campbell – Spoken word artist and founder/executive director of the Emancipation Theatre. Jeff works extensively with unhoused individuals. Jeff will use his medium of spoken word to invoke change for justice
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