Arresting Power Documentary Hits Movie Screen

Portland filmmakers tackle police violence

Mike Bivins | 1/14/2015, 1:44 p.m.
For many folks, learning about the racist history of Oregon comes with a long talk and a city of Portland ...
The co-producers and filmmakers of the Portland documentary ‘Arresting Power,’ (pictured from left) Erin Yanke, Julie Perini and Jodi Darby. The film, which premiers on Thursday, Jan. 15 at the Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium at 7 p.m. speaks to the history of police violence in our society and the history of Portland’s exclusion laws, racial profiling, red-lining and gentrification practices.

Arresting Power covers this outrageous, seemingly stranger than fiction, turn of events in detail. Whether it is Stevenson’s killing or Otis’ 25 years later in 2010—there is no shortage of examples of police brutality that make this exposé relevant and necessary.

Another infamous incident, which often shocks Portlanders who are not familiar with the city’s checkered past, is the Burger Barn incident. Two off -duty officers who apparently had nothing better to do, loaded up a car with dead possums, and tossed them onto the front of the Burger Barn, a local black owned restaurant. Those involved said the hateful act was an attempt at police unity. The officers were never fired.

Filmmaker Jodi Darby told me that creating Arresting Power has been a challenge due to Oregon not having a lot of funding for the arts in general, and as a result, she and her co-producers, have had to hold down full time jobs while making the film.

Being a long-time Portland resident who has learned quite a bit more about the history of the Portland Police Bureau and race relations in the city, I am thrilled that this film got made.

The filmmakers set up a Kickstarter campaign to successfully crowd source $20,000 in funding for post-production of the movie. The film will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum. Tickets are $9 general admission and $8 for students and seniors.

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