The movie I watched to discuss the relationship of films to criminal justice was Street Kings. The movie stars Keanu Reeves as Detective Tom Ludlow. Tom Ludlow was part of a unit in a LA precinct that consisted of crooked detectives and the captain. Their job was to solve crime at all cost but what Detective Ludlow didn’t know was that he was being used. He was the tip of the spear that the captain needed to get him the position of Chief and eventually Mayor.
When an ex-detective, Officer Washington, who was moved to being a street cop, threatened this by talking with IA (Internal Affairs) about the operations, Tom was told that convinced by the unit that Washington was snitching him out. In reality Washington was planning on bringing down the house on their Captain, Captain Wander (Forest Whitaker). Washington was set up to be killed by Captain Wander and made to look like a 2-11, gang robbery at a local store but was really killed by two deputies deep undercover.
As the whole truth started to unravel, an IA Captain, Captain Biggs started to try and help Detective Ludlow come clean. Detective Ludlow decided to try and unravel the whole truth by himself and found that Captain Wander has been covering up for him to keep him around since he helped the Captain’s public view. As Detective Ludlow found out more, Captain Wander had the rest of the unit hunt for the evidence of his corruption and for Detective Ludlow to shut him up for good.
In the end, Detective Ludlow takes out the entire unit, including Captain Wander after discovering the truth and taking a turn for the good without even realizing it. Captain Biggs shows up in the end and covers up for Detective Ludlow as he knows that Ludlow is done with the way of corruption and can no longer put the corrupt Captain Wander into the Mayor position. Corruption has made its way into the criminal justice system time and time again. I believe that such corruption does lie in our society today and I do believe that cops will look out for cops but at the same time some will burn out some others.
I know that there is such corruption because my neighbor and his wife are Chicago Police Officers. He stated, “Your first five years on the force, you may see a gang banger and want to help and be an influence on his life, but after five years, you just want to get rid of them all at any cost. ” The movie shows that criminal behavior is everywhere including in our police departments. Do I believe this? Yes, simply because there are and always be people who abuse the power given to them.
The film may have over exaggerated some things that can happen in reality but then again, some of the things that happen in the film seem pretty believable. Mainstream society tends to believe a lot of things they see in films. I feel like this film was a way of hinting at society that corruption is real and it’s in our very own police departments but it isn’t hinting them enough to cause panic or controversy over the film. History has shown that there’s been a lot of corruption in police departments throughout history as we know it.
The movie’s solution to crime/corruption in the police is to take out the corrupt ones with some slight corruption. It’s as if they are just being corrupt themselves. It shows a corrupt, trigger happy detective wanting to know the truth but as he unfolds the truth about his fellow unit, he goes around giving them what they “deserve”. At the end of the movie, he’s ready to turn himself in and calls IA’s Captain Biggs to let him know that he’s changed, and Biggs just decides to cover the whole thing up because Ludlow finally opened his eyes?
The solution seems kind of realistic and possible but at the same ludicrous. It’s like the movie is stating that you can fight crime with crime. The solution in the real world would be unlikely. To fight crime with crime is like telling the police to become their own gang, sell drugs, fight for their territory, and kill all rival gangs to clean up the streets. A realistic solution would be to try and take these corrupt/criminal figures out of the justice system but as we all know, it’s difficult with all the corruption that’s going on.
The corrupt ones look out for one another to ensure their own safety which makes more difficult for to get someone to turn on the others. The truth may be that we need some corruption. Without corruption, who would do the dirty work? Who would be the arm that goes slightly beyond the law to uphold? There is a fine line between corruption that helps and corruption that ruins a city. I believe that the solution is to keep a containable amount of the corruption around to uphold the law on a “dirty” scale.