In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson established a commission to investigate the causes of the urban uprisings in Detroit and other cities over that summer. That commission, known as the Kerner Commission, came back with a blistering report on white attitudes toward black citizens.
According to the commission’s report, one of the major elements driving racial divisions was police treatment of black citizens. And it specifically warned against the militarization of law enforcement agencies.
A new documentary film demonstrates that, almost 50 years after the Kerner Commission issued its report, many police departments throughout the country have failed to heed that warning.