I was off work on a recent Friday, and it was so nice to have a little bit of a break. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to watch. This title kept popping up in my Netflix profile, so I figured, “Why not? Let’s try it.”
Before Al came home from work that day, I’d watched the entire season. All eight episodes.
At first, I thought the documentary series was going to be about the police force in Flint, Michigan. It was certainly about that, but also so much more.
Flint Town is a real, gritty, almost unedited profile of these officers and their lives. I got so invested in the story, especially the emotional side, it’s no surprise I plowed through all eight episodes in one day.
In addition to being police officers, you ride along with them as they deal with the continuing water crisis, limited and dwindling resources, and changes in the city administration. Both good and bad.
I wrote Hot Topic #19: The Water Crisis in Flint, and Others in March 2017. The series started before that. And it was compelling, and pretty sickening, to watch.
My heart went out to everyone in Flint. Seeing these interviews – Officers, officers’ family members, city officials, local activists, and members of the community – It’s beyond obvious this city has been struggling for years.
At the same time, toward the end of the series, I started thinking beyond Flint. There are THOUSANDS of other cities in the U.S., not to mention so many others places on this planet of ours, that don’t have safe, clean, acceptable drinking water. I started thinking about my own city – Portsmouth, Virginia – and my water, my city administration, my police force.
Just before I watched this series, the story broke one morning that our own police chief in the City of Portsmouth, Tonya Chapman, had suddenly resigned. When she was hired in 2016, she was the first female, African-American police chief of a municipal force in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. Currently, Angela Greene, the former Assistant Police Chief, is serving as interim Police Chief until a replacement is hired. But we don’t know when that will be.
And, there continues to be finger-pointing, frustration, and controversy from many different sides, including the city administration, citizens, the local NAACP chapter, and the Fraternal Order of Police.
Flint Town is a story that can easily resonate with many across the United States. It’s a tough one to watch, but it’s a series that is relevant, and thought-provoking.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂