BET has given a 10-episode series order to the docuseries “Copwatch America,” the network announced Tuesday.
Produced by Renowned Films and Critical Content, “Copwatch America” is set to follow “copwatchers” from two U.S. cities, who turn their cameras on police to protect citizens, amplify the truth and keep abuses of power in check.
According to the network, the 10-episode series will feature voices from both sides of the issue, “from police officers who insist they are just trying to build up their communities, to the copwatchers determined to speak truth to power.”
Executive producers on the project are Max Welch, Tim Withers and Duane Jones for Renowned Films and Critical Content CEO Tom Forman.
“BET Networks is committed to bringing important stories of systemic issues of race and justice across our nation to light. We are taking this on in a way no other brand and network can, through platforms like our powerful ‘Finding Justice’ franchise and our upcoming original docu-series ‘Copwatch America,'” said Marisa Levy, head of unscripted for BET Networks. “We look forward to partnering with acclaimed storytellers Renowned Films and Critical Content and continue to empower our community and focus on activists who use video cameras to protect the rights and in some cases, the lives of African Americans in police encounters.”
“We’re incredibly excited to be working with BET, and the Copwatch movement on such an important and powerful series,” said Welch. “‘Copwatch America’ will be shocking, eye-opening, exhilarating, explosive must watch action getting to the core of one of the biggest issues facing America, its police and the communities they serve today. Prepare for plenty of confrontation, powerful personal stories, injustices, and debate, as we capture the groundbreaking stories of those on both sides of the story in search of truth.”
“It has never been more of an important time to bring the remarkable stories of copwatchers across the U.S. and their continued fight against injustice to the public,” said Jones. “Renowned understands how important the conversation sparked by ‘Copwatch America’ will be, and we look forward to working with BET to dig deep into this complex narrative. With never-before seen, unprecedented access to the frontline over 10 compelling episodes, we will detail the personal experiences of those affected on all sides by this deadly epidemic.”
“I’ve spent my career telling law enforcement stories, but never from this perspective. Not even close. Hats off to BET for allowing us to tackle this subject matter in a way that speaks to their audience and this time,” added Forman.
The copwatch activist movement was previously the subject of a 2017 documentary by Camilla Hall, which centered on the organization WeCopWatch and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.