Police officers are “sworn to protect and serve” our country, right? Well, it appears as if not all is glorious in the modern days of America, where documentation of police brutalities and controversial decisions expose misconduct for law officers. Billions of tax dollars are blown over claims of misconduct involving thousands of officers accused of wrongdoing and abuse of the law over the years.
History does tend to point to such fates, as in March 2017, several officers from Baltimore were indicted on corruption charges by the government. Known as the Gun Trace Task Force, their work was uninhibited for years. Director Kevin Abrams provides a glaringly resounding product in I Got a Monster, bringing in defense attorney Ivan Bates to give a brutal tale of how Sergeant Wayne Jenkins and his comrades’ tactics were egregious and resulted in a terrorizing for citizens across the state. Bate’s earnest details subtly speak to the sanctimonious behavior of the policemen, who turned out to be robbing and framing people (synonymous with the work of criminals).
The anecdotes point to systematic failures of the governing bodies and provide notable depth as to how folks can continue to trust the higher-ups. The Wire and The 13th usher in familiar beats, but the perspectives (though scattered) provide a fresh enough examination. We get superb tidbits such as “The signs were there…we just didn’t pay attention” and “I’m everything that the criminal justice system says is wrong.” The lines are words preached by politicians when it comes to “law and order” within state and federal jurisdictions; the beats don’t stop, even when the bullets stop flying.
After a year of uncovering the fraudulent actions and sting operations, Sergeant Jenkins and the other members of the GTTF were sentenced to federal prison. The city is still paying for their damages today. All this death and damage could’ve been avoided, had oversight been righteously keeping the higher order in check.
Stand on the right side of justice, and don’t become the monster out there, director Abrams preaches. Living in harmony should be the answer.