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22 Nov 2014

“BLACK in America: Black & Blue

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November 22, 2014 Category: Stateside Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Soledad O’Brien on location in ‘Black in America: Black and Blue ‘on CNN.  (Photo screen grab: Atlanta Black Star)

Soledad O’Brien Reports” premieres Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 9 PM ET on CNN – Recap on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7:00PM

Los Angeles– In a new installment of her “Black in America” documentary news series, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will  use graphic videos and incisive interviews to show how the lives of young men are fractured by aggressive policing. Her documentary film, “Black & Blue”, takes us into the lives of men frisked without cause as many as 100 times, and the police officers who insist they’re just fighting crime. “Black in America: Black & Blue– Soledad O’Brien Reports” premieres Tuesday, November 18 at 9 PM ET on CNN.

As O’Brien reports with Co-Directors Ross Tuttle and Steve Maing, the NYPD reported made more than 5 million stops between 2002 and 2013.  Of those stopped, more than 80 percent were African American or Latino, and 88 percent of the stops did not result in arrests, summons, or evidence of any crime.

“What is so shocking is that this police practice was used around the country – and in some places still is – with the theory that police were stopping criminals,” said O’Brien. “It’s shocking that the city where this was popularized was stopping so many innocent people.”

“Black & Blue” will portray the personal stories of the men affected by those aggressive policing tactics, many of whom were able to document the confrontations in shocking videos. It also shares the perspective of real NYPD police officers who alternatively believe in the “stop and frisk” tactic and confess that it was not about fighting crime but fulfilling arrest quotas established by senior officials. “Everything is numbers based…Summonses must be written; the arrests must be made…,” says one officer, his identity concealed for protection.


In a sit down interview with New York Police Commissioner William Bratton, O’Brien will ask why a new mayor with a mandate to transform policing would appoint the same police commissioner that initiated these policing tactics years ago. “I’ve been a cop for 44 years…So, I can understand some of the attitudes and beliefs,” NYPD Commissioner William Bratton tells O’Brien.

The one-hour Black in America special, Black & Blue, is produced by O’Brien’s Starfish Media Group. The special will premiereTuesday, Nov.18 at 9:00pm, with encores at 12:00am, and again on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7:00pm.  All times are Eastern on CNN/U.S.

Black in America: Black & Blue will be available, in simulcast, via CNNgo by logging in with a TV provider username and password on CNN’s iPad app or via  

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