“I got to go on these (police) ride-alongs for about a month and those were sleepless nights for me. I saw a man get shot and almost bleed to death. That was on my first day,” Washington told Reuters Television about his research for the part.
“I saw stuff I don’t want to talk about too much but that I’m living with forever. But then I thought about like, that’s what they live with all the time. And then, how do you turn it off? How do you go to a family barbecue after you just worked a 13-hour or 12-hour shift seeing two people getting shot to death,” he said.
The latest in a spate of films inspired by police shootings of unarmed men and women that have spurred riots and mass protests in American cities, it dramatizes one incident and shows the effect on three different men of color living in New York’s Brooklyn neighborhood.
Anthony Ramos plays a young father who takes cell phone video of a police shooting and is conflicted over whether to publicize it. Washington faces a dilemma over a mistake by one of his police colleagues, and Kelvin Harris Jr. plays a young baseball player who is politicized by the incident.
“The film isn’t suggestive. It’s laying out what’s happening in our country right now, both positively and negatively,” said Washington, 34, who is the son of Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington.
“This is just going to help maybe spark some ideas or some reminders of how divided we are, so hopefully we can inspire one person to find the solution and start the dialogue,” he said.
Police shootings and race relations in the United States also prompted the Netflix series “Seven Seconds,” summer movies “BlacKkKlansman” and “Blindspotting” and upcoming film “The Hate U Give.”