bad cops Documentary

Bad Cops: The Seven Five Documentary Shares NYPD Corruption

Thursday, November 20, 2014 Cora

Corruption is unfortunately everywhere. Even people meant to keep the peace and uphold the law challenge our trust because we’ve experienced otherwise. In 1992, several New York police officers were arrested, exposing a widespread ring of corruption in Brooklyn’s 75th precinct. Showing at DOC NYC, Tiller Russell’s documentary The Seven Five recounts rogue cop Micheal Dowd and his posse’s story and delves into why they would do it.

The Seven Five To say being a police officer is a hard job is an understatement. Cops rarely see people at their best and need to do things others are not willing to do. In the 1980’s, Brooklyn’s 75th precinct was one of the deadliest in the country, leading in drug wars and cop shootings. For many, being a cop is a calling. For Michael Dowd, it was a job, a poorly paid one he didn’t want to do and in one of the worst places to be a cop. One cop in the documentary wonders who he burned to get sent there. Dowd felt it didn’t make sense for a cop who risked his life for $36,000 a year somewhere he was despised not to take dirty money. Dowd and his partner stole from everyone and everything. They started taking drugs and money from busts. They took security payments from drug lords. Eventually they set up their own cocaine ring on Long Island.
Micheal Dowd testifies in 1993 “I consider myself a cop and a gangster,” former police officer Michael Dowd says. Russell’s expertly pieces together old news and surveillance footage while revolving around Michael Dowd’s interview. The sold out premiere reunited not only the corrupt police officers for the first time in twenty years but put the face to face with the whistleblowers. Russell described it as “the strangest high school reunion.”
The Seven Five could have been filmed here with some recent bad cop stories in the news. Breaches of power like this story cause us to look askance at people in power. As hard as it is at times, we need to remember we would not have darkness without light; for every bad cop there is a good cop.

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