Netflix ‘Flint Town’ Series Explores Policing At Low Point in Public Trust

“We saw an opportunity there to try to better understand the city through the eyes of the police,” says co-director Drea Cooper.

Flint Town/Netflix

We may never really be able to wrap our minds around the full extent of the devastation caused by the Flint water crisis. It’s taken an exceptional human toll on the people of Flint whose water was poisoned as elected officials looked to save a buck. 

Add that to the fact that residents’ concerns were continually ignored and dismissed, and you get another kind of devastation — the absolute and complete loss of trust in the people charged with protecting Flint residents. 

It’s against that backdrop that a group of filmmakers embedded themselves in the Flint Police Department for two years. The result is the Netflix documentary Flint Town

Drea Cooper, a co-director of the film, speaks with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson about the crew’s experiences making the documentary. Cooper, who has spent a significant amount of time filming other projects in Flint, got to know people throughout the city, including members of the police department.

“We saw an opportunity there to try to better understand the city through the eyes of the police,” he says. 

Jessica Dimmock, another co-director of Flint Town, also joins the program. 

For Dimmock, it was important to start small and gradually expand the scope of the documentary.

“We get close to specific police officers. We spend a lot of time in the community to try to get at these very close-to-the-skin personal relationships so that we can look at the inner-connectedness of the community-police relationship,” she says. 

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation.  


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