FRONTLINE: Police On Trial
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Thursday, June 2 at 10 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On demand with PBS Video App
On Tuesday, May 31, FRONTLINE and the Pulitzer Prize-winning staff of the Minneapolis Star Tribune will present “Police on Trial,” a new 90-minute documentary that examines one of the most pivotal events in the history of race and policing in America.
Two years in the making, the documentary draws on unique on-the-ground reporting and filming, from the earliest days after George Floyd was killed, to the trial and murder conviction of Derek Chauvin, to the ongoing struggles for police accountability and reform.
It features never-before-published video of prior uses of force by Chauvin; exclusive interviews with former senior police officers who say they faced repercussions for speaking out about problems within the department; and intimate conversations with members of George Floyd’s family, as events unfolded over time in Minneapolis.
From director Mike Shum ("American Voices: A Nation in Turmoil"), producer Marcia Robiou ("Whose Vote Counts") and a team of reporters from the Star Tribune, "Police on Trial" is part of FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, an innovative effort to support and strengthen investigative reporting in communities around the country, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
"Police on Trial" was produced in association with the Center for Asian American Media and is supported by The WNET Group’s Exploring Hate initiative. This special collaboration offers a one-of-a-kind view of a police killing that echoed around the world, by the Star Tribune reporters and photojournalists who covered it day to day and were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their work.
It is also a deep work of accountability journalism that brings to light numerous warning signs about Chauvin that Minneapolis police did not act on.“Police on Trial” reveals that Chauvin’s troubling use of force was the product of a system and culture that enabled bad behavior, and it shows the difficulty the city has had enacting lasting change, despite vocal calls for reform — a problem confirmed in a scathing new report from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights that found the city’s police has engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination over the past decade and failed to hold problem officers accountable.
Two years since the murder of George Floyd, “Police on Trial” is a timely examination that speaks not just to what happened in Minneapolis but to problems with policing around the country.
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A FRONTLINE production with Five O’Clock Films in association with Mike Shum Productions and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The director and producer is Mike Shum. The producer and reporter is Marcia Robiou. The narrator/reporter is Libor Jany, along with reporters Andy Mannix, Liz Navratil, Liz Sawyer, Chao Xiong. The senior producers are Frank Koughan and Callie Wiser. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. Distributed internationally by PBS International.