STREET FIGHTING MEN
 
 

STORY


It’s been widely reported that Detroit is making a comeback, but long-term residents of Detroit’s mostly black neighborhoods aren’t seeing much benefit. Crime, lack of opportunity and infrastructure problems still persist. Community Patrol explores neighborhood self-policing through the eyes of Minister Malik Shabazz, a long-time Detroit activist and community organizer. Determined that more black men don’t end up in jail or killed, the minister confronts drug offenders directly rather than reporting them to the police.

 
 
 
 

“We are the deliverers.”

 

 
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REVIEWS & PRESS

"By documenting a specific act of collective action, the black-and-white Community Patrol focuses on the complexities of community policing in a Detroit neighborhood—it follows a group of ministers as they lead a march intended to disrupt the supply of a drug dealer who’s living and dealing next to a church [ . . . ] Despite its necessarily uncomfortable contents, the short both documents and further enables a needed dialogue regarding accountability and the concept of patrolling. Without editorializing, Community Patrol raises serious questions about who has the authority to control a neighborhood—as well as about how that authority is created, or maintained.”
- Jake Mulligan, Dig Boston


”Shabazz features prominently in Community Patrol, an immersive piece of observational filmmaking that depicts community policing in action [ . . . ] Part of what makes Community Patrol so powerful is its ability to situate the audience directly inside the action as it unfolds. That cinema verité approach is undergirded by the time James spent with Shabazz establishing a trusting relationship.”
- Emily Buder, The Atlantic


"One of the least chronicled stories in the recent stream of documentaries about Detroit is how events and policies have invigorated community activists to claim the power of self-determination in the city’s neighborhoods through creative yet pragmatic strategies. In Community Patrol, which received Best Mini Doc honors at this year’s Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, Utah filmmaker Andrew James captures one example with gripping elucidation, as Malik Shabazz, a Detroit minister and founder of the New Marcus Garvey Movement/Black Panther Nation, and followers confront a liquor convenience store owner about a known drug house in the neighborhood. Within the 13-minute duration of the film, viewers see a master class of negotiation and persuasion. Shabazz never misses a beat, as he also makes clear that the situation can be resolved without jeopardizing or compromising further the future or life of another young person."
- Les Roka, The Utah Review