Black Cop Drama

Review: The Tables are Turned in ‘Black Cop,’ and It’s an Eye-Opener

May 31, 2018Britany Murphy

Police officers vow to serve and protect, but although some people fully believe in law enforcement and all that it stands for, it has also become very apparent that cops do not always serve the greater good in their communities. In Black Cop, we learn just what happens when an officer goes rogue, after he's pushed to his breaking point.

The film opens with a Black Lives Matter protest. Police are stationed around the periphery, making sure that nothing has gone awry, when the film's titular character, an unnamed cop played by Ronnie Rowe Jr., is approached by one of the protesters, who tells him he's on the wrong side of this fight. Our Black Cop just stands there and takes the abuse, as he believes in the job he's doing and in the importance that comes with it. But later, while off-duty and visiting the corner store in his black hoodie, he experiences racial profiling firsthand.

Minding his own business, walking home with the beverage he just purchased, he is stopped by a pair of white officers intent on questioning him. Our Black Cop shares a heated exchange with the officers, one of whom keeps his hand rested atop his firearm. And when the dust has settled, we see our cop handcuffed, sitting in a squad car with the officer who just assaulted him, who tells him that all of this could have been avoided had he just told them he was "one of them" from the beginning.

This is the movie's catalyst — the final straw for this Black Cop. It is in this moment that he truly feels the weight of what the protesters at the beginning of the film were rallying against — a system with deep roots entrenched in racism and stereotyping that requires a major overhaul. No longer able to stand idly by while the black youth in his community are being mistreated, the next time he is out on patrol he saves two black teens from getting harassed by a fellow officer. And rather than being ashamed of his action towards a colleague, he revels in the power and the rush that comes with turning the tables on the privileged.

As the film's lead, Ronnie Rowe Jr. delivers a perfect performance, showcasing his acting ability with ease, allowing the audience to experience the various stages of his journey throughout the story. Rowe has you rooting for the character, while at the same time wondering just how far he is willing to go, and if he will ultimately become like his white counterparts, whom he disagrees with so vehemently.

Written and directed by Cory Bowles, Black Cop does not shy away from intense and oftentimes hard to watch subject matter. After all, it is the reality of what's been happening in society for years, and Bowles shoots it brilliantly, even including footage that has been captured via police body cam for added realism.

Throughout the film, viewers are also treated to commentary from an unseen radio host who has his various callers sound off on the "rogue officer." Was he justified in his actions? Were the civilians truly in the wrong? These questions and more are all posed at some point, and it's interesting to hear the varied answers as the movie progresses, providing yet another layer to this topical exploration of race and police brutality.

Black Cop releases June 1st, 2018 from Northern Banner Releasing. The film is rated 14A. Its runtime is 1 hr. 31 min.

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