Didn't play in any theaters near me
http://www.donotresistfilm.com/craig-atkinson/We noticed a trend in early 2014 of police departments being solicited by technology companies offering new tools to help alleviate dwindling operating budgets and loss of personnel. One technology provider we filmed with offered the same IBM platform the NSA uses to collect web communications to police departments, for as little as $1,000 per year. Throughout 2014 and 2015, we watched as departments throughout the county adapted the technologies without any guidelines or policy directives governing their use. At times, the companies would make the chief of police sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from telling their communities they even had the technologies. The mantra we would continue to hear was that the police couldnâ€™t let terrorists know the tools they were using to intercept their plots. The problem is, in three years of filming police, there was never an opportunity to use the equipment on domestic terrorism. Instead, the military surplus equipment and surveillance technology were used on a day-to-day basis to serve search warrants, almost always for drugs.
In hindsight itâ€™s not hard to understand how we arrived at the current state of policing in America. Since 9/11, the federal government has given police departments more than $40 billion in equipment with no stipulations on how it should be deployed or any reporting requirements. Additionally, the federal government created a loophole that allowed police departments to keep the majority of the money and property seized during search warrants to supplement their operating revenue. If a police department makes a portion of their operating revenue from ticketing citizens or seizing their assets, then police officers become de facto tax collectors. We met many officers who said they didnâ€™t sign up for that.
Everyone wants to know what my father thinks of the film, and in all honesty, I think it pains him. Itâ€™s hard to watch the profession you dedicated your life to evolve into something completely unrecognizable. During the 13 years my father was on SWAT from 1989-2002, his team conducted 29 search warrants total. Compare that to today, when departments of a similar size we filmed conducted more than 200 a year.