American Son (2019) Movie Script

God damn it. Where are you?
I've sent you four texts, no, five.
You can't text me back?
Call me.
It's me again. Honey, I'm sorry. I...
I'm sorry. I-I didn't mean to get angry.
Call me, please.
- Hello. Hey, it's Jeffrey.
- Hi, this is...
- Shit.
- Leave a message,
and I'll get back to you.
Jeffrey, this is Jamal's mother.
It's, uh... Tuesday...
No, Wednesday night... m-morning. Um...
I'm looking for Jamal.
He hasn't come home, and I...
I thought he might be with you.
I-I'm sorry to bother you,
or, you know, call so early, but...
If you get this message and he's with you,
can you please have him call me?
My number is 305...
Well, it's on your...
Oh, God, okay, hold on.
Just in case, no, um, 305-468-5900.
- Sorry.
- So I checked,
like you asked,
and the car does show up.
- Yeah.
- It shows up in the system.
- Shows...
- That's all we really know right now.
- Show... Shows up how?
- It just shows up, as, you know.
What's... How does it end up coming
to the attention of, you know...
Oh, it just was logged in, you know,
from an incident.
It could've been ticketed,
could've been towed...
But Jamal, my son, he was driving it,
and he...
I thought you told me you weren't
sure whether or not he was...
Well, yeah. Yes. Okay,
yeah, I didn't see him drive away in it.
I did not actually see him get
in the car. Correct.
But the car's not in our driveway.
He's been gone
since eight o'clock last night.
Going on eight... I mean, nine hours.
- He's usually home at midnight.
- Right.
He never came home.
And when I called the police,
they said something happened
to the car and...
I thought you told me they said it was...
Hold on. I wrote it down.
Okay, um, "An incident."
I, um...
That's what she said, an incident.
"Identified in an incident."
Yes. I understand.
And, listen, I'm really very sorr...
I'm sure that he's gonna turn up.
And you've already told me that you're not
the registered owner of the vehicle.
So, I-I mean...
I told you I would verify
the vehicle information anyway.
And I did that, okay?
He has work.
- Sorry?
- Well, an internship.
Jamal, he has a very prestigious...
He has some place to be this morning.
- Sure.
- This isn't like him.
- Ma'am...
- Look,
can't you do a missing persons report
or something?
Not for 48 hours, no.
- Or if there's evidence of, you know...
- Foul play.
We don't really use that term.
That's the movies.
Okay. Something bad. Whatever.
- Right.
- He hasn't come home.
He's a responsible kid.
- His car could have been stolen.
- We don't know that.
- He's missing!
- Okay.
Isn't that enough?
Look, he's... He's 16, 17.
Just turned 18.
Oh! Oh, so he's just about
to graduate high school?
- Yeah.
- So...
- So, what?
- So he's probably...
out on South Beach
or, you know, well, I know
you probably don't want to hear this,
but hanging out with some girl.
You know? Doing what teenage boys do.
I mean, that's what I was doing
at that age.
Listen, I'd still appreciate it
if you all would...
Ma'am, we will.
But you said that before,
and you're leaving.
And I would really like to know
what is going on.
Look, I told you, as soon as
the AM liaison officer gets here...
- No, I mean now.
- Sorry?
I want to know now.
Well, I will be happy to walk you back out
to reception.
- You could check again to see...
- I was just at reception for half an hour.
- There's not much more I can...
- And the lady there,
- she was no help at all.
- I... I understand.
Look, she sent me to you.
This can't be that hard.
- I'm very sorry, ma'am, I...
- Either he's in the system or he isn't.
Ma'am, no disrespect,
but we have a protocol.
Listen, I may seem paranoid,
but he's not home.
His car is showing up on your radar.
- Humor me.
- Ma'am,
as soon
as the AM liaison officer gets here.
Officer, please.
- I don't know what you expect me to do.
- Well, don't you all have computers?
I don't know, a database with names
and DOBs you can...
Yes, but I am not authorized
to just go running down the rabbit hole.
- What if somebody walks in, and they...?
- Please.
Thank you.
But I'm gonna need
some additional information.
- Sure.
- All right.
Just let me... Let me get something.
First name again?
Jamal, J-A-M-A-L.
Last name, Connor.
- Is that E-R?
- No, O-R.
Any priors?
Has he ever been arrested before?
Oh. No.
- Are you sure?
- Yes.
- Even juvie.
- Juvie?
- Does he have a juvenile record?
- No.
- Nothing?
- Nothing.
Not even a trespassing
or resisting without, petty theft?
He's never so much as torn the tag
off a new mattress, okay?
- Excuse me?
- Nothing.
No... No arrest record at all.
Hmm. Uh, does he go by any other names?
Like a nickname?
I mean, his father calls him J.
No. Uh, AKAs?
- I'm sorry?
- AKAs.
You know, "also known as."
Like, street names.
Street names?
Yeah. Well, if he was taken into custody
under a different alias, right?
He gave a different...
Well, different from some other time
- is all I'm saying.
- I just told you he's never been arrested.
But just in case
he might have been printed for,
I don't know, whatever.
Or had a warning issued, or...
- A street name?
- Right.
- Like Peanut? Or Black?
- Exactly.
Or Pookie.
Yes, ma'am.
Well, there's June Bug.
- June Bug.
- Yup.
- That's his street name?
- Jesus Christ.
- Is it?
- No.
It's not an alias. It's not a street name.
You sure?
It's what I used to call him
when he was little.
It's what I call him now
when I want to knock the cool out of him
in front of his friends.
He doesn't have a street name.
Can you please just run all this
through your computer...
- Ma'am! I am going to.
- ...and find out what is going on?
I just need to make sure that we have
all the correct information here,
so we aren't just spinning our wheels.
Maybe a little taller
since last time we measured him.
- He really shot up this year...
- Uh-huh. Weight?
Uh, 180... 185, thereabouts.
Light green eyes.
Okay, good.
Uh, do you remember what he was wearing
when he left last night?
I-I don't know.
Probably jeans and a T-shirt.
All right. Does he have
any distinguishing, you know...
Like a birthmark?
Yeah. Scars, tattoos, gold teeth.
That kind of stuff.
No. No tattoos. No golds.
His only scar is on his stomach,
right here.
Great. And that's from?
- The scar?
- Yeah, where did he get it?
You mean, how did he get it?
Well, both, I guess, yeah.
- Does this matter?
- Ma'am...
- It's not from a gang fight.
- Okay.
- Lady, listen...
- Officer.
Respectfully, are there
that many 6'2" black boys
involved in incidents tonight,
you need to know
if they might just have
scars on their tummies?
Not unless you want to find him. I mean...
Okay, Jamal's sign is Taurus
with Virgo rising.
He's bashful, looks away when he smiles.
- Really, I am just looking for...
- He plays the guitar.
- Especially likes blues and rock.
- Ma'am.
- Old '70s and '80s bands.
- Ma'am...
I tried to turn him on to Funkadelic
- and DeBarge...
- Ma'am, I...
...but he's strictly
mainstream classic stuff.
- Clapton. Van Halen.
- Okay.
He throws a mean breaking ball,
whatever that means.
- All right. Listen...
- He's vegetarian,
hates fried chicken,
and he's afraid of clowns.
- Ma'am...
- He walks like a jock,
but he can recite
almost any Emily Dickinson poem.
- Okay.
- And he still gets a tear in his eye
whenever he hears
"Puff the Magic Dragon."
I-I love Emily Dickinson.
"It is a far, far better thing I do
than I've ever done.
- It is a far, far better..."
- That's Charles Dickens.
Mmm... I don't think so.
Anyway, uh, let me see
what I can find out, okay?
Oh, hey, was he angry or upset
about anything last night?
Well, just in case he had a reason to,
you know, run off
and chill for a while.
Okay. Cool.
- Uh, help yourself to a donut.
- Really?
Yeah. I know. What can I say?
We really do like 'em.
Oh, God.
Hey, you on your way down here, I hope?
Not yet.
I don't know.
Scott... No, Scott,
I said I don't know.
I've been trying to find out.
Well, because they're being very evasive.
I have no idea why.
Well, that's not true.
I have some idea why. I...
I am keeping my cool.
It's... It's not helping.
That's why it'd be nice if you were here.
Well, I called you almost an hour ago.
Yeah, I'm keenly aware
of what time it is.
Well, you know what?
Maybe if you were home in your own bed
instead of sleeping in someone else's,
we wouldn't be having this discussion.
No, I'm not starting.
I said I'm not.
No, I'm dropping it.
Okay, but you...
In a waiting room somewhere in the back.
When you come through the entrance,
turn left, park in the main lot up front.
Go to the info desk.
Ask for Officer Larkin. Larkin.
I don't know, some...
low-level newbie
who ain't all that bright.
Yeah, okay. Bye.
It's Mama again, baby.
I know you're still very upset,
and... we both said a lot of things
we shouldn't have last night,
but I am worried about you.
Please call me.
- So?
- Okay, there was an incident.
- An incident!
- The car...
If you will allow me, please.
There was an incident. We don't know what.
The car was stopped,
and there is a pending investigation.
What does that mean?
That is all I can tell you.
Uh, Lieutenant Stokes,
he doesn't normally get in
until about 8:00,
and I've been instructed that all further
information needs to go through him.
I'm sorry, who?
Lieutenant Stokes.
Oh, he's the AM public affairs
liaison officer.
Look, I'm... I'm pretty new here.
I don't know him personally.
They told me that he's been paged
to come down here immediately, but...
But he might not get here
for another few hours?
- He's been paged.
- That's when he normally comes in.
Not acceptable.
No, ma'am. It is what it is. I...
No. I called the police
at three o'clock in the morning.
- I'm told my car's been involved...
- It's not your car.
My son's car!
My son is missing.
Now you're telling me he's in custody?
- No.
- He might be?
- No. We don't know that yet.
- We don't really know anything yet.
We don't know much.
- No. That is my point.
- Is my son in custody or not?
I told you,
you're gonna have to be patient
and wait for the AM liaison officer
to get here.
I sat out in that lobby
almost half an hour
before I even got to speak to you.
I completely understand your concerns.
Respectfully, officer,
I don't think you do.
- Ma'am, I have kids too.
- Do you?
- Okay. I do.
- How old are they?
- Well, they're...
- Any of them black?
Excuse me?
Do you have any black sons...
this big...
who might just be sitting
in police custody
at four o'clock in the morning?
- Look, Ms. Connor. I...
- Ms. Ellis-Connor.
- Ms. Ellis-Connor...
- Mm-hmm?
I am doing the best that I can...
- Do you have a black son?
- help figure out...
Wow. We are really gonna go there?
Oh, we've been there for a while.
No, ma'am.
I have two...
young daughters.
White daughters.
Then let's skip the empathy tactic, okay?
Because, believe me...
you got no idea.
You know what? I really thought
that we had developed a kind of...
Why are you still here?
- I'm sorry?
- Go.
- Excuse me?
- Please. Go find Jamal.
- Find my son.
- I told you, Lieutenant Stokes
- will be here any minute.
- I don't care who's on his way.
You got a badge too!
- You people...
- Ma'am. computers and cell phones,
police radios.
You mean to tell me
you can't walk out that door
in five minutes
and find out where my son is?
- Look, I...
- Where is he?
I understand you're tense.
I understand this must be upsetting.
- Stop telling me you understand.
- Ma'am, listen.
- And stop calling me "ma'am."
- Okay.
as soon
as Lieutenant Stokes gets here,
I am going to see
that you speak to him immediately.
We are gonna find out
where Jerome is and...
- Jamal. His name is Jamal!
- I'm sorry.
- I'm sorry. I...
- God damn it!
- Stop screaming at me!
- Okay! Okay.
All right.
Let me...
Let me start again.
I am... so sorry
if I implied or suggested
any bad faith on your part.
I-I completely understand your concerns.
You keep saying that,
"I-I understand.
I... share your concerns."
Is that from some HR training video
or something?
- No.
- "When dealing with a problem personality,
- put the person at ease."
- What?
- "Diffuse the situation."
- No.
- "Echo their feelings."
- I don't know...
Look, I have a PhD in psychology.
I teach at the university. Okay?
So I know when I'm being managed.
Ma'am. Ms. Connor.
- Ellis-Connor.
- I am not managing you.
Jesus. I'm just trying to be nice.
we have a protocol.
Look, I'm supposed to follow it,
but, you know,
let me see if I can...
I... if I can pull a few strings.
You know,
before Lieutenant Stokes gets here.
Just get a little more info, okay?
- I would really appreciate that.
- All right, just...
Just give me a few minutes.
Do you... Do you need anything?
I swear, I am just being nice.
Some water.
There is a water fountain down the hall.
It's out the door,
around the corner to your left.
- Thank you.
- There's two, actually.
- They're right next to each other.
- Two doors?
No, sorry. Two water fountains.
You can't miss them.
They're right next to each other.
It's 'cause the building's really old,
and when it was built, it was...
There's, um...
you know, above...
above the water fountains,
there's, like, um...
there's, like, a commemorative plaque...
dedicated to, like, the Big Five
or something.
The Big Six.
The Big Six!
Yeah. Yeah, Abernathy and, uh...
I can't remember all of them.
It's just... ah, it's...
fascinating, you know, just the history.
Well, you know, I mean...
all they did for...
Son of a bitch.
- Excuse me. Are you...
- I was just texting Amy to get your ETA.
Jesus Christ, what took you so long?
- Excuse me?
- Yeah. I'm sorry, sir.
It's just this lady has been
really difficult and...
Yeah. I'm here about Jamal Connor.
Right, right.
And she's gonna be right back so...
Okay. So far, um, all I know,
the car is pulled over.
Uh, three black males in a Lexus,
like, a late model Lexus,
- I think.
- Okay. Hold on.
Expired tags or the driver's texting,
not really clear on the reason
for the stop.
- Exigent circumstances, I guess.
- Okay.
There's not much in the system.
Logged to the General Investigations Unit.
- The GIU?
- Yeah, so, probably no big deal, right?
I mean, I got somebody in the GIU
to give me a little bit of info...
- Listen. Slow down.
- I know that's against protocol.
I'm just trying to keep the natives at bay
until the cavalry arrives, you know?
Man, I'm glad you're here.
- Sorry. It's Officer Larkin, right?
- Yeah.
Let me just back up,
make sure I understand what it is...
Wait till you see this lady.
Bitch is totally out of control.
I mean, I got kids too.
Right? But she went from, like,
zero to ghetto in nothing flat.
Ma'am, this is Lieutenant...
- Hey.
- Hey.
- Jesus Christ, Scott.
- It's okay.
Everything's gonna be fine.
Where's our son?
Lieutenant Stokes is on his way.
I'm really sorry for the delay.
They haven't told me anything, Scott.
- Not a thing.
- Okay.
They don't know if Jamal's been arrested
or if he's in custody.
Calm down. I wanna talk
to the GIU detective interrogating my son.
Listen, as I have been telling your...
her, I'm not at liberty
to give you more information.
- Now.
- I'm sorry. Who exactly are you?
I'm Scott Connor.
I'm Jamal Connor's father.
- No. I'm talking about...
- Oh. I'm an FBI agent.
- I'm sorry if that confused you.
- Yeah...
My son's a minor, we have a right to speak
with him before you interrogate him.
- I'm sorry, sir. I'm not authorized...
- Scott...
I don't want you to be sorry. Take me
to whoever is interrogating my son.
- Scott!
- What?
His birthday was last month.
Remember? He's 18.
- Shit. I knew that.
- It's okay.
- Of course.
- God damn it. I got him the car.
- You know I knew that.
- Hey, I said it's okay.
It's four o'clock in the morning.
I haven't had a cup of coffee.
- I understand.
- Look...
Lieutenant Stokes
should be here very soon.
I wanna know what's going on with my son,
you've been in contact with the detective.
I'd like to have a word.
- No, sir.
- Excuse me?
I have not been in contact
with the GIU detective.
Two seconds ago,
you just said you had.
No, sir. That is not correct.
I got somebody in GIU
to... to read me a bit of information,
secondhand, off the daily log sheet.
- That is all.
- Uh-huh.
I've not been able to speak with anybody
about the case yet.
There's a protocol that we have to follow,
and it involves the AM liaison officer.
- And you don't know when he'll be here?
- Very soon, I hope.
But if you'd rather not wait here,
that's fine.
Uh, you can leave me your cell number.
I'd be happy to call you when he arrives.
There's a Denny's on the corner.
- Yeah, it's a very short walk.
- Thank you. We'll wait.
Can I... Can I get you anything?
- Coffee?
- I'm fine.
Coffee would be great.
- Cream? Sugar?
- No, I like it black.
Listen, I'm sure
that this is no big deal.
I just started working here,
but they tell me this happens every night.
We have a skeleton crew in admin
on the late shift.
It can take forever for information
to filter down, so...
Well, I apologize if I was, you know...
No, not at all.
And, listen, I'm really sorry
about when you came in and I...
- Yeah.
- Sorry about what?
- FBI, huh?
- Yeah.
- That's awesome.
- Thanks.
It's my dream job.
- Is it?
- Mm-hmm. Behavioral analysis.
- Really?
- Yeah. I applied,
but they told me
I needed investigative experience,
which is why I joined the force.
Well, I hope you kicked ass
in differential equations
- or whatever...
- Yeah.
BS in Forensics at Jacksonville State.
Go, Gamecocks!
Good. 'Cause those guys
in the Ted Bundy Brigade,
they're smart as hell.
The Ted Bundy Brigade,
that is awesome.
Yeah. They don't like to be called that.
It's what the rest of us call 'em
when we wanna piss 'em off.
I'd be happy to put a good word in for you
when the time comes.
- Really?
- Give me a call.
That would be so awesome.
- Thank you so much.
- You bet.
So, the Lexus.
It's registered to me.
- The...
- The car,
my son's car, is registered in my name.
Scott Alan Connor.
- It was a birthday gift.
- Oh, nice.
Yeah. Well, pre-owned.
Still a little indulgent, I guess...
Oh, yeah. Whatever.
He worked very hard.
- Bit of a reach for us, but...
- We thought he'd earned it.
Anyway, we kept it in my name
for the insurance.
But I can tell all that
to the GIU guy myself
when you bring me down there
to talk to him.
Right. So, coffee...
No cream, no sugar.
I'm on it.
- What?
- Nothing.
No, not nothing. What?
Why don't you just offer
to cut and blow out his hair,
give him a hand massage, for God's sake?
- Kendra.
- I mean...
- I'm just trying to be civil.
- Whatever.
- Acting all crazy...
- Who's acting crazy?
...isn't gonna help the situation.
They have our son.
We wanna know where he is.
They can tell us.
This ain't complicated.
This is a bureaucracy.
I think you're assuming the worst,
when the truth be told,
the current situation
is probably a whole nother thing.
- Oh...
- Look, I work at a bureaucracy.
I'm telling you,
you're not gonna get anywhere
chewing out some low-level yes-man.
I've been here for almost an hour.
- Look, alls I'm saying...
- "All."
"All you're saying."
"All" is not plural.
It's not a possessive.
There's no such word as "alls."
Just "all."
Jamal doesn't "ax a question."
He doesn't speak Ebonics.
- You don't get to speak white trash.
- Oh, Christ, Kendra...
"Alls I'm saying."
"A whole nother."
Just purge that shit.
- I'm sorry. "A whole nother"?
- Yeah.
"The current situation is probably
a whole nother thing."
Sweet sweating Jesus, Kendra.
- The word is "another." One word.
- Okay.
Don't go shoving the word "whole"
in the middle of it.
Can we not just go off in the weeds
on some...
This isn't "off in the weeds."
You know how I killed myself to make sure
Jamal speaks proper English.
- Yeah, believe me, I know. Yeah.
- Okay? Good.
I mean, you just said "ain't"
two seconds ago,
but I ain't allowed to.
That makes perfect sense.
I said "ain't" for emphasis.
- You just speak bad English.
- Jesus.
It's like every little thing
with you lately.
No, this isn't every little thing.
As hard as I worked to make him fit in,
it's a slap in my face
when you cavalierly lapse
into "Okie from Muskogee."
Can we just...
Let's see if we can get our arms
around the here and now.
Find out where J's at and not, you know,
rehash the last five years
of our marriage.
- Would that be okay?
- Sure.
And I've never forced you
to make him fit in.
- Whatever.
- Hey, I let you name him Jamal.
- Didn't I?
- "Let me"?
- Here we go again.
- Right?
Baby, I'm sorry,
I love your Irish people and all,
but I simply wasn't gonna go through life
with a son named...
What was it you were putting on the table
at the time?
Hell, no.
I'd have gone with something else.
Liam, Aidan...
I needed to commemorate my brother.
I thought you understood that.
I did.
You know...
you may not remember,
but in Arabic, Jamal means beauty.
Means beauty. Yes, how could I forget?
"Hey, Beauty.
You wanna toss a football around?"
I can't wait 'til he's 21
so me and the guys can head on over
to the tavern
and hoist a glass of whiskey
with ol' Beauty.
- My, oh, my.
- Maybe he'll bring his friends
Chastity and Mother's Milk
along as designated drivers.
Is your sense of masculinity
really that delicate?
Of course not, Kenny. Come on.
It's just a hell of a fun button to push.
His name is fine, all right?
You can't even say it half the time.
It's always "J" this, "J" that.
Oh, come on. I got a nickname for my son.
That's just a male bonding thing.
Just man up and say it.
You've always hated his name...
because it's too black.
You're the one who just said
- Seamus was too Irish.
- You think his name's a handicap.
Well, you know what? On a scale from...
Eric Holder to, you know, Darnell Jackson,
Jamal is brushing
right up against Darnell.
It must be terrible feeling so alienated
from your own flesh and blood.
Hey, I'd challenge hell's furies
for that kid, and you know that.
My only son.
- Should we try calling him again?
- I've already tried about 15 times.
I just keep getting his voicemail.
Yeah, me too.
"Hey, this is Jamal. Have a blessed day."
When did that bullshit start?
He's been going
with me and Mama to church.
Thank you, by the way.
- For what?
- For taking her to dialysis.
- Oh, please.
- No, it's a huge help.
Bobby's like my own mother, you know that.
- I know.
- She is a tough old broad.
She thinks the sun rises and sets on you.
She blames me for all of this.
You look good.
- Oh, Jesus.
- Well, you do.
Please don't go there.
We haven't really
seen each other since... you know.
- Oh, I know.
- Oh, can't I just notice?
What did you expect, Scott?
Four months without you,
and I'd completely fall apart?
Is that what you were hoping?
- Christ. Forget I said anything.
- Yes! Let's just forget it.
Let's just find our son and go back
to our respective corners, okay?
Is it Jamal?
So, where was he last night?
- I assume he went out.
- Yeah.
- With who?
- I don't know.
You don't know?
- Why should I know?
- Jesus Christ. Kendra.
I don't grill him every time
he leaves the house.
He's a grown man. I trust his judgment.
You're the one who insisted
that J live with you.
Which I was okay with.
But you took on an obligation
to be responsible...
I thought we weren't going to rehash
our entire relationship?
- Okay. Fine.
- Fine.
It's just, I hate to keep harping on it,
but this kid's going to West Point
in, like, a month.
- It is just not acceptable that he...
- Here we go.
It's not, Kenny.
Last few times he stayed at my place,
he looked like a goddamned gangster.
A gangster?
Yeah. A "gangsta." There, I said it.
Why? Because he's not wearing
Brooks Brothers?
Oh, the baggy pants, the cornrows,
that stupid loping,
surly walk he suddenly developed.
He's a teenage boy, okay?
- A second ago he was a grown man.
- He's just trying to figure out who he is.
- Oh, he's trying to figure out who he is?
- Explore his own identity.
Christ almighty. Today it's cornrows,
tomorrow he'll be out helping OJ
find the real killer.
Okay. See that right there?
Comments like that...
You just don't get it.
His world is not your world, Scott.
Oh, yes, it is. It most certainly is.
Look, I completely appreciate
how you had to grow up.
Okay? The hard streets of Liberty City.
Interstate cutting through. Redlining.
All of that.
I admire it. I always have.
It's one of the many reasons I...
You what?
- You what?
- His world is not that world.
His world is definitely my world.
We worked hard to make it my world.
We spent almost
a quarter of a million dollars
putting that kid
through the best prep schools in the city.
He grew up in Coral Gables,
for Christ's sake.
He's had every possible advantage.
I simply will not accept him
regressing into...
Into what?
Just say it, Scott.
That young man has no excuse
for getting himself into this situation.
What situation?
We don't even know what happened yet.
Something happened.
I can take a pretty good guess what.
Why are you automatically gonna blame him
before you even know anything?
You know he's driving around
with two black kids?
Oh, God forbid.
Oh, please don't. Don't do that.
Are you kidding me?
Look, Kenny, it's just you and me in here,
so you can quit with the performance art.
- Seriously?
- Kendra, come on.
He was out with two other black kids,
that's the issue here?
I mean what if...
How do you know who he was with?
This guy.
- This cop?
- Yeah.
- Well... when?
- When I walked in.
So the whole hour I'm here,
he doesn't know a thing.
The minute you walk in the door,
he's full of answers.
I wouldn't necessarily say
"full of answers."
But he told you Jamal was in a car
with two kids?
- They were stopped.
- Two other black kids.
- Yeah.
- Well, he never told me any of that.
I wonder why that might be.
Right now, I don't really care.
I just wanna know who they are.
Didn't your new buddy there tell you?
And I think you'll agree this demonstrates
- some pretty questionable judgment.
- No.
- Not necessarily.
- Really?
He's got a right to be in a car
with his friends
without getting dragged downtown
at 3:00 a.m.
No one's saying
he doesn't have a right...
Even if he's in a car
with his black friends!
- What black friends?
- Oh, Scott, come on.
What are you...
Can't you see what you're saying?
This is exactly what I'm saying.
Listen to me.
What black friends?
Was he with Jeffrey?
Was he out with Nate or Manny?
Kids that we know and trust?
- Because that'd be one thing.
- I told you, I don't know.
No. And he certainly wasn't out with Al.
No. Al's in Europe with his family
on vacation.
Yeah. And Al is the only black kid
he hangs out with,
- which is exactly my point.
- Funny. That's exactly my point.
- Oh, look, Kendra, I...
- You think our bougie son
has no right to associate
with other black kids
without stamping a presumption of guilt
all over himself?
No. I think our half-white, half-black,
who-gives-a-shit-what-race-he-is son...
The one who got 1470 on his SATs
and aced AP Physics,
knows better than to commit
unforced errors in life
by taking stupid risks.
Especially, when he is on the cusp
of doing great things.
I think he understands that,
like it or not,
the way that you present yourself in life
has consequences.
If you wear your pants
halfway down your ass
and ghetto hair, then you got...
Then you got no right to complain
when you walk by
and a white lady clutches her purse?
You got no right to complain
when you walk by
and any lady clutches her purse.
No. No, no, no, no, no. That is not... No.
You are saying that associating
with other black kids
is taking a stupid risk.
Oh, come on, Kenny,
that's not what I'm saying.
- Let me ask you.
- You know that!
If this little asshole had told you
that Jamal was in a car
with two white boys he barely knew,
would you be blaming him then?
Would that be an unforced error?
If I didn't know 'em, if I hadn't met 'em,
black or white,
you're damn right, it would be.
no matter how many privileges he's got,
the world still looks at him
like it looks at me,
not you.
Oh, boy.
I tell you,
I can see exactly what's been going on.
I'm out of the house a few months,
and sure enough,
you are filling his mind
full of victimhood psychobabble.
- Oh, you know what?
- "Pity me! Pity me!"
- I've done nothing of the sort.
- Yeah.
Instead of pointing a finger at me,
maybe you ought to be looking
in the mirror.
Oh, this is my fault now?
Well, you're the one who disappeared
at the pivotal moment in his life.
Excuse me?
You know exactly what I'm saying.
I coached his baseball team for ten years.
- Mmm.
- I went to every one of his concerts.
Have I ever missed a banquet
or a game or an event or a meet?
- That's not what I'm talking about.
- What are you talking about?
You walked out on him.
I did not.
- Yes, you did.
- Bullshit.
- You did.
- No, I didn't.
I'm sorry, but that is exactly what you...
- You know what?
- You did!
You up and walked out on him.
I didn't walk out on him.
I walked out on you.
I didn't mean for it
to come out like that.
I just...
I'm so sick and tired of having
the same frickin' argument with you
over and over and over again.
That is what I walked away from. Not...
You know.
Shit. Kenny, I'm sorry.
- Stop.
- I didn't mean to...
Just put the shovel down
and stop digging.
Listen, J is on his way to being
a commissioned officer
at one of the most elite institutions
on Earth.
My job is done.
He is a man now.
A man I am so proud of.
I know.
So I cannot... I cannot have you telling me
I didn't do my job as a father.
- I am not your father, Kendra.
- Okay.
- That's what walking out looks like.
- All right.
- So don't. Don't.
- Scott.
- Please. Please.
- I said I get it.
Everything's gonna be fine, all right?
Let's just try and relax.
This time of night, I always get agitated.
You have no idea.
I'm usually awake about this time.
I don't know I've had a sleep-filled night
since that boy was born.
Most nights, my eyes fire wide open
out of a sound sleep.
Heart beating so hard
I feel it throbbing in my ears.
Always right about this time.
Too late to go back to sleep...
too early to get on with the day.
You... just snoring away.
Usually, I go stand
in the door to his room...
and listen to him breathe.
Sometimes I go in and...
touch the muscle on his neck.
Or shoulder.
Stand there and bullshit myself,
"Don't worry, Kendra,
he is big and powerful.
This world can't hurt him."
Until that nagging feeling comes back,
and I dwell on how fragile he is.
And whatever nightmare
that has just woke me up,
someone texting in an SUV
or an errant punch in a bar fight,
a ruptured appendix
in some third world country. Most...
Most mothers can sit there in the dark
and get rational,
go back to sleep.
But sometimes, in my nightmares,
I see nooses and crosses
and white men with Brylcreem crew cuts.
Last summer... when Jamal
wanted to drive with Jeff to Bonnaroo,
- I was... I just...
- No, look, J and I just thought
you were a little over-the-top
with the mother hen thing,
thinking he was too young.
- Too young?
- We disagreed and we moved on.
Too young
had nothing to do with that shit.
My granddaddy was fighting in Okinawa
when he was 17.
Too young?
It wasn't that.
It was the prospect of him
driving through the Deep South.
My son, alone with a white boy
driving Sherman's March to the Sea
in reverse.
Maybe he and Jeff stopped
to get gas in some little town
'cause he doesn't know any better
because we raised him to believe
that the world is full...
full of goodness.
And he starts batting his doe eyes
at some cute little white girl.
Maybe the two of them walk
into a burger joint,
happens to be an alt-right hangout.
Maybe... some guy with a swastika
tattooed to his biceps
had a little too much to drink, and...
doesn't like the look...
of this boy
who's poisoning
the country's racial purity.
But the worst one,
the one that always comes back,
is I see him getting stopped by a cop
for doing nothing in particular.
And I see ankle-high boots and...
and nightsticks.
And I think back on that night I was...
five years old...
and watched
my stoic mother doubled over,
sobbing in the kitchen
because Arthur McDuffie
had been beaten to death by the cops...
...and they'd acquitted those cops.
And you... were a little boy
asleep on the other side of town,
dreaming of becoming one.
I'm scared.
Don't be scared.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
This is just some frivolous nonsense.
They probably had
the music cranked up too loud.
- You think?
- Yeah, you know how he likes to do.
Or his buddies had a couple of beers
in the back seat, stupid shit,
kids sowing wild oats.
But let's not piss these people off, okay?
Let's just...
keep calm.
Half an hour,
the three of us will be at Denny's...
having a teachable moment.
Have you talked to him recently?
I talk to him every day.
- Texting mostly, but...
- No.
I mean, have you talked to him about...
About what?
West Point.
What about it?
- I don't wanna get in the middle of this.
- What about it?
- Well, he's...
- He's what?
He's rethinking it.
He's rethinking what?
You should talk to him.
About what, Kendra?
He's thinking about taking
the farm team contract.
Or maybe seeing
where the guitar thing might go.
- Listen...
- Jesus Christ, Kenny. Again?
It'd probably just be a deferment.
He's afraid to tell you.
Yeah, well, he should be.
I hope this wasn't your idea.
- Okay, look.
- Are you encouraging this nonsense?
He doesn't have the arm speed
to make it out of Double-A ball.
He doesn't have the talent.
A brutal reckoning that I, his father,
not you, got to make with him, thank you.
And the guitar?
He's gonna, what?
Play the guitar, like, for a living?
Just because you were too scared
to pursue your dreams,
- don't take it out on him.
- Oh, please.
Let him try while he's young.
At worst,
he spends some time finding himself.
Oh, sure.
You kick around trying to "find yourself,"
and before you know it,
you're a 40-year-old dude
with a 150 IQ and no college degree.
Then you're making, what, 450 a week
in a goddamn wedding cover band.
Being hired by a guy
who can afford to drop $100K
on the wedding
because he didn't waste
ten years of his life
pursuing his dreams of, you know,
the Olympic curling team,
or writing the next great American novel.
- That's not what I meant.
- The men in my family have
served this country every generation
since they got here.
He is not entitled
to break that tradition.
- Scott.
- It's not an option.
End of discussion.
Sorry to interrupt.
Coffee. No cream, no sugar.
So, I got some more information for you.
It's not a lot.
I checked the computer intake log again.
Your son was identified
as a vehicle occupant
in a traffic stop in your Lexus.
I also confirmed there were
two other black males
in the vehicle when it was stopped.
Why were they stopped?
The log's not really that specific.
The general "infraction" category
was checked off.
What does that mean?
It's just whatever
the patrol officer logged in
from his laptop in the patrol car.
He, like, checks off a box.
So this tells us nothing.
Well, it's not showing up
as a pursuit following felony,
a stolen car, BOLO.
You know, the really bad stuff...
- Okay.
- can check off.
- Who were the other boys?
- Yeah, I'm not allowed to, um...
Okay, this stays between us.
Badge to badge.
DaShawn Rolle and Jarvis Bell.
You know them?
Uh, Bell is a 20-year-old
with misdemeanor convictions.
He had an open warrant.
- For what?
- That I cannot tell you.
You see, Ken? Do you see what I'm saying?
Um, one other thing.
I gave your son's social media accounts
a quick look over.
Really? That's what you've been doing
while we're standing around in here?
Social media is, like, the first stop
in missing persons cases.
- Oh, please.
- Fact!
And that I did learn in a training video.
Your son posted something on Instagram.
A photo of a bumper sticker
on the back of your Lexus.
"Shoot cops with your camera phone
whenever they make a bust."
- Excuse me?
- That is what it says.
- "Shoot cops"?
- Yeah, yeah.
And those words
were in, like, huge letters, okay?
- I think you're mistaken.
- The rest of it in little fonts,
so all anyone who wasn't two feet away
from the bumper could see
is a Lexus that says, "Shoot cops."
No... No, not my son.
Afraid so.
"Shoot cops."
Shoot people just trying to do their jobs.
- That's all you can see?
- Yup.
- Jesus Christ.
- Shoot people with wives and kids.
Son of a bitch.
Just shoot 'em 'cause you're part
of the revolution or whatever, I guess.
- Kendra.
- What?
- That car is registered in my name.
- God...
This isn't about us, remember?
Our son is in police custody.
Our son has a bumper sticker
on his car that says, "Shoot cops."
- My son. I'm the cops.
- Scott.
- God damn it. I'm the cops!
- This is about a camera phone.
Jesus, Scott!
Right now, I couldn't care less
about you and him
and your goddamn thin blue line.
I care about finding our son.
Did you know about this? Had you seen it?
Kenny, please tell me
that you didn't know about this.
- Please tell me that you didn't...
- Listen to me.
There are three black kids in his school.
Three out of 400 and something.
And the other two are dating each other.
- He's...
- Oh, no, I totally get it.
Being one of the only black kids
at the most expensive prep school
in the city...
versus being a black kid at,
you know, MLK Senior,
where you gotta go through metal detectors
every day,
that entitles you to put a bumper sticker
on your Lexus
that says, "Shoot the stupid dumbass
who bought me this car."
He is grappling with a lot right now.
- He's depressed.
- Oh, Jesus.
He's confused.
Bullshit. Look, I'm sorry to be venting
like this in front of you.
Oh, no, listen, I totally hear you.
Where is Jamal now?
What I just told you,
that is all that is in the system,
and I wasn't even supposed
to tell you that.
I'm really supposed to wait
for this Lieutenant Stokes guy
to get here.
But, I tell you what,
I will go and check the computer again,
see if someone might have
logged something in
in the last few minutes.
You know what?
I sat around here almost half an hour.
You couldn't tell me a damn thing.
Except for maybe how to go on
a self-guided, Jim Crow tour
through the building...
And then as soon as my husband shows up,
my white husband,
suddenly you are as helpful as can be.
- Kendra!
- Why is that?
Do you not want me to go look
at the computer again?
If you wouldn't mind too much.
I'm sorry, I didn't get your first name.
Paul, if you wouldn't mind,
we'd really appreciate it.
Sure thing.
- Refill?
- That'd be great.
"That'd be great."
You know what else would be great?
If you took my side at some point.
Damn it, Kendra.
You're so goddamn nice to him,
it's making me sick.
- "Shoot cops"? For Christ's sake.
- That's why you're kissing this guy's ass?
No. I'm ready to put my fist
through the goddamn wall.
Put yourself in Jamal's place.
- Oh, give me a break.
- No! Just for one minute,
put yourself in your son's place.
He is the only black person
most of those little white kids
at his school know.
Most of 'em...
only black people
they've ever exchanged two words with
are the Jamaican hospice woman
who wipes bubbie's ass,
and the people
at some Habitat for Humanity house
they helped build
just so they had something
to put on their application to Princeton.
- Look, I get that.
- You have to understand, Scott.
Jamal is going through...
an awakening.
- An awakening? To what?
- Yes.
To this.
Philando Castile.
And Eric Garner.
And Tamir Rice.
Every time it happens,
he feels the world
close in on him a little.
And it's coming at him from both sides
because all of his white friends
think he represents the entire race.
It's not like if he was at a school
with other black kids he could lean on.
He is the one all the white kids look to.
There is immense pressure on him to...
I'll tell you what he calls it,
"the face of the race."
That's what he says,
"I feel like I am the face of the race."
- He told you this?
- Many times.
He never said anything like that to me.
Baby, look at you...
and look at me
and reckon why that might be.
When these men get shot down,
he can feel their ghosts.
That bumper sticker was...
Was what?
No, really, I... I...
I want to understand.
Can you see that Jamal
is also right, here?
Filming cops is all these kids have.
It is their last line of defense.
Shit. God forbid I'm stopped,
it's mine too.
That is the world we live in.
Whether you get it or not.
No, I get it. I do.
I get it.
I just...
He still should've known
where this kind of thing can lead.
- Tonight?
- Yeah.
- Because of a bumper sticker?
- Yes.
You really think
that's what this is about?
- Sure didn't help.
- A bumper sticker?
Look, if I'm a cop rolling down the street
at 2:00 a.m.,
and it's a close call on probable cause...
The bumper sticker would push you
over the edge?
- You bet.
- Oh...
Especially, if after I make
a warning stop,
I got some uppity asshole
lecturing me about his rights.
Son of a bitch.
- Oh, come on.
- Is that what you just said?
- Kendra, please.
- Unbelievable.
- Jesus Christ.
- From you?
I don't even know what to say.
God damn it, don't make this about
how I tripped on some coded word fossil.
I cannot have J lapsing into a life
where he makes excuses for himself
all the time. I won't.
And I won't have him walking around
apologizing for who he is.
- No one is asking him to do that.
- Yes, they are.
"Keep your hands on the wheel, boy.
Look straight ahead.
Don't make any sudden moves.
Wouldn't want to make the man
in the bulletproof vest nervous
when he walks up to your window
pointing a glock at your head."
Your father ever tell you that?
- He never had to.
- You're goddamn right, he didn't.
Look, Kenny.
I'm as eager to sort this out as you are.
He is my son, too.
I just don't think that, you know,
lecturing these people
on Black Lives Matter is gonna help.
Let's try...
catching flies with honey, okay?
Maybe they need a little lecture.
They sure fittin' to get one
when I sue their asses.
Look, alls I'm saying...
all I'm saying...
is let's give these people
the benefit of the doubt
and not act like we're
in some ass-backwards Klan county
in South Carolina.
This is Miami, for God's sake.
Where my black, PhD-having ass
still has to drive down
something called "South Dixie Highway"
to get to work every day.
Kenny, I see your point. I do.
But throwing all that up
in white people's faces
makes them feel like shit.
And when you make people feel like shit,
they tend to not wanna help you.
Yes, sir, Massa Scott.
Auntie Kendra don't wanna hurt
nobody feelings.
I sorry, Massa Scott.
What is so funny?
Being ridiculous.
My husband laughs
when I pretend to be a house slave,
- and I wonder why we're separated.
- Oh, Jesus.
Boy. I tell you,
did you and I ever agree on anything?
- Oh, come on.
- No, did we?
The importance of hard work.
Respect for our elders.
Bourbon Manhattans at dusk
out on the patio.
- Thelonious Monk. Right?
- Mmm.
Yeah. We always agreed on Thelonious Monk.
Yes, we did.
Thai food.
- Right.
- The U.
- Cormac McCarthy.
- Mmm.
The Cayman Islands.
The morning J was born
was the best day of our lives.
- We definitely agree on that.
- Right?
I mean, I still can't.
I just can't...
I mean, Jesus Christ.
When I was at that conference in Atlanta
a couple months ago,
I saw another bumper sticker,
"Don't Blame Me,
I Voted for Jefferson Davis."
Nobody was pulling him over.
That's just some bigoted asshole, Kenny.
But in Atlanta.
In the capital of black America,
white people get to glue their anger
all over their car bumpers.
Well, I cannot answer
for every racist white person.
No? You're not the "face of the race"?
Well, I'm glad to see that this is
the standard we're holding our son to.
What standard is that?
Looking for a bigot behind every tree.
Because that's what this shit leads to.
"Shoot cops" bumper stickers
and all this micro-aggression bullshit...
- Can we drop it?
- ...on college campuses.
I mean, seriously, Kendra,
what were you thinking?
He just put it on the car today
or yesterday,
I'm losing track of time here.
- So you did know it was there?
- Scott, yes, I saw it.
I didn't like it either,
but Jamal has been on edge
about everything lately.
You weren't around.
It was up to me to do triage.
I decided the bumper sticker was a battle
that could wait till morning.
I... I told him not to get in that car
until he got rid of it.
Okay. Fine. But once this is done,
we're gonna sit down,
have a little chat
about the quality of your judgment
on this.
You know what?
I'm not running cover for you anymore.
He put the bumper sticker on the car
to get back at you.
He's furious with you.
What? For what?
What do you think, Scott?
For leaving him.
Sorry, leaving me.
- He told you this?
- Told me...
I had to watch my six-foot tall son
cry his eyes dry
about three nights running.
Calling you names
they haven't invented yet.
That poor child was curled up in my arms
like a little baby.
- I... I...
- I...
Yeah. That's what all this is about.
The bumper sticker. The cornrows.
- It is a rebellion against you.
- No. No.
- Bullshit.
- No, honey. It's not bullshit.
It's called
the science of human psychology.
This is what young men do
when the person they have modeled
their whole identity and moral code over...
Hell, what is the clinical term?
- "Fucks over his family."
- Kenny...
He hates you right now!
And for the first time in his life,
he hates being half-white!
I told you,
I am not happy
about the goddamn bumper sticker
or the cornrows or the baggy pants,
but it is just a phase he will get over.
Hopefully a short one.
I am just trying to help him reassemble
a very fragile identity,
an identity that you busted into pieces
when you walked out that door.
So get off my back about this
because you don't get
to take the high road here.
Stop it.
No! You...
It's not J. Fuck.
You really need to be texting her now?
- It's my brother.
- What?
- He sent a link, he said it's urgent.
- Dwyane Wade dunking?
You two can't bond over your man crush
some other time?
Aw, man. Aw, man.
- Don't do it, man.
- Nigga, stay down.
Don't do it, man!
Stay down, nigga.
Scott, what is that?
It's, um...
I... I don't...
- Uh...
- Scott?
- I... No. Nope. No, honey?
- Yes.
Kendra, stop it.
God damn it, honey, please don't.
Aw, man. Aw, man.
- Don't do it, man.
- Nigga, stay down.
Don't do it, man!
Stay down, nigga.
- What's it mean?
- I don't know.
- Is that Jamal?
- Jesus.
- Scott, is that him?
- I don't know.
Is that him?
No, Kendra, I don't know.
Give me a second.
- Well, what does the text say?
- I wasn't paying attention. Um...
"Look ASAP, AM stringer posted this
on the CBS4 site. Is this J?"
Let me see. Let me see it.
Aw, man.
Scott, I think that's him.
Is that him? The one running?
- Kendra.
- No... No, God. In the blue shirt.
- Stay down, nigga.
- I think that's his shirt.
Let's just take this
one step at a time, okay?
- Okay.
- I'm gonna call my brother at the station.
- I wanna see it again, make sure.
- Give me a second.
Let me get a hold of my brother,
see if he knows anything.
Hey, John. It's me.
So is that J in the...?
- Well, did he say whether or not he...
- What did he say?
Well, can you text me his number
so that I can...
- Who? Who is he?
- You don't? Okay.
- All right?
- Yeah. Thanks.
What did he say?
Just that the police station monitors,
the... the police scanner,
and they heard reports
of a warrant stop, a traffic stop,
and a witness, a bystander,
some guy happens to be there
and he sends in this footage.
- Is it Jamal? Was he hurt?
- John doesn't know.
Just that the chatter came back
with my car, and he sent the link.
- He doesn't know.
- Wait.
It could be him, Scott. He could be hurt.
Jamal could be hurt.
- We have to...
- I don't know.
I saw what you saw, okay? I mean, I...
- Hey!
- I got your refill.
- Have you seen this?
- Huh?
Have you seen this?
No... No. Seen what?
Aw, man. Aw, man.
- Don't do it, man.
- Nigga, stay down.
Don't do it, man!
Stay down, nigga.
I want to know
what's going on with my son, now.
I don't know what this is.
It's a video.
Apparently from a traffic stop.
What video, from what stop?
The stop where...
I don't know, that's why I'm asking.
Our son and other kids, we think.
- Where did you get it?
- Forget about where we got it.
I'm trying to understand why you think
this has to do with your son.
His brother sent it
and thinks it could be Jamal.
Forget about all that. Where is our son?
We just wanna know if he's okay.
Look, I told you, Lieutenant Stokes
is on his way down here.
He'll be able to tell you.
Okay. Listen to me. I have been...
We have been waiting
and we've been patient.
But our son is in custody, your custody.
You have him.
We would like to know where he is.
We would like to talk to him.
- I understand.
- We want to talk to him.
- I'm doing everything I can.
- This is easy!
I'm gonna make this very easy for you.
I wanna know where my son is right now!
I wanna talk to him.
Okay. As I have explained,
I am not authorized to tell you that.
All right? I think that
if we all just calm down here for a second
and stop jumping to conclusions...
- Oh, God!
- Where is my son?
Where is my son?
Sir, you just committed a battery
on a law enforcement officer.
- That is a second-degree felony.
- Listen to me, you little shit.
If you don't tell me
where my son is right now,
I'm gonna commit a capital felony.
We are done being strung along!
- Scott.
- Sir!
I'm gonna ask, please,
take a seat and calm down.
- Who are you?
- Sir, please.
Take your fuckin' hands off me.
- I'm gonna ask you nice one more time.
- Sorry, who the fuck is this?
Officer, your cuffs, please.
- You have the right to remain silent.
- You kidding me?
Anything you do or say
may be used against you...
- You're kidding.
- You have the right to consult an attorney
- before speaking with police.
- You kidding?
- Afraid not.
- Why am I arrested?
You have the right to an attorney...
- What is happening?
- You are kidding me.
If you can't afford an attorney,
one will be appointed
free of charge before any questioning,
if you wish.
If you decide... Stop.
Listen to me. You wanna keep on
racking up charges
- or calm down and get this over with?
- Just don't fucking touch me.
Officer, give me a hand.
Turn and face the wall.
- I'm not gonna turn...
- Don't resist.
- Take your goddamn hands off me.
- Sir!
- Take your hands off me!
- Stop it.
- Let me go.
- Stop it. No!
- Let me go!
- He has a heart murmur.
- Sit him down.
- He has a heart murmur!
Son of a bitch. Fuck.
What is wrong with you people?
- That's enough.
- What is wrong with you?
I said that's enough. You injured?
- Uh...
- Are you injured?
- Well, he certainly could have been.
- Sir?
Get pictures of him. His face and hands.
Yours and mine, too.
Was that at all necessary?
Unfortunately, it was.
Now, we all calm?
We all settled down?
Good. My name is Lieutenant John Stokes.
I'm the AM shift liaison officer.
I understand there was an incident.
- We wanna know where our son is.
- Quiet.
We wanna know now.
We wanna know right now.
Okay, I'm gonna try this one more time.
I don't wanna take you into custody.
I'd hate to see you lose
that badge and pension
I'm sure you've worked very hard for.
I have a right to know
where my son is.
You're mistaken.
You have no such right, sir.
Your son is an adult
who's the subject of an investigation.
Right now, you have the right
to sit down and shut up.
- Do you understand?
- He understands.
I'm talking to him. Do you understand?
- Fuck you!
- Scott, please.
- Take him up to intake and book him.
- No.
Two counts battery
on a law enforcement officer,
two counts resisting with violence.
And every time he so much as flinches
or looks at you cross-eyed
between now and being fingerprinted,
add a charge of resisting without. Got it?
Yes, sir.
Do I take him into custody?
If he can calm himself, give him
a "promise to appear" and cut him loose.
You people are animals.
Do I need to call in a taser and backup,
or you gonna hold it together?
- I'm fine.
- All right.
- And you'll be hearing from my lawyer.
- And you'll be hearing from mine.
My lawyer's name is the state attorney.
What's your lawyer's name?
Get him out of here.
Now, again...
my name is Lieutenant John Stokes.
I would very much like to know
if my son is okay.
If you will be still, I will tell you
everything I currently know.
I will not be lectured
and this will not devolve
into a shouting match.
When did I ever shout at you?
I will tell you what I know.
You will quietly and politely listen,
or I will simply walk out that door
and you can find out what it is
you want to know in due course.
Who is your supervisor?
Sorry, understood.
Excuse me?
I said "understood."
This is what I know.
At approximately 02:15 this morning,
a late model silver Lexus was pulled over
by a patrol officer.
That Lexus is registered
to a Scott Alan Connor.
That's my husband.
Three African-American males
have been taken into police custody
in connection with the incident.
We don't know much more
about the stop except...
- The cop shot at someone.
- I won't compete
- with your outrage and speculation.
- I saw a video.
There were shots fired.
- I don't have confirmation of that.
- But I heard it.
I heard it.
You heard noises on a grainy video.
I'm trying to get facts.
He called one of the kids a nigger.
If you'll let me finish...
He called him a nigger.
I saw it. I heard it.
- No, ma'am.
- You saw it!
One of the people taken into custody
was a bystander,
a black bystander,
who shot that footage with his cell phone.
It's his voice you hear on the video.
Not the voice
of a law enforcement officer.
Why was Jamal stopped?
He... He doesn't drink.
We just bought the car.
The brake lights were working.
- Ma'am...
- He had his registration
and insurance card with him.
- I made sure of that.
- Ma'am.
He wouldn't have given anyone
any reason to stop him.
No one has said your son was stopped.
There are at least three individuals
involved in this incident.
I don't know who was driving the vehicle
when it was pulled over,
and neither do you.
You'll cause yourself
a lot less heartache
if you'll stop jumping to conclusions.
At the moment... I don't know
why the car was stopped. Okay?
And right now,
what I've told you is all I know.
All right.
As soon as I know anything else,
I'll immediately...
I will tell you this.
The car had a bumper sticker on it
that raises some concerns.
I am aware of that.
Kind of makes your close scrutiny
of your son's insurance
and registration card moot,
now doesn't it?
I don't see how.
Come on, my sister,
I know you know better than that.
I am not your sister.
A black boy in that car
with a bumper sticker like that?
He's asking for trouble.
And what does that tell you?
It tells me that the world is not the same
for people who look like you and me.
- Oh, Jesus Christ.
- Yes.
That's what it tells me.
And it tells me that the people
who patrol the streets
with legal authority to use deadly force
are not robots.
They help their kids
brush their teeth at night
and read them Dr. Seuss
and pray they get to do it again
the next night.
And when they see some nihilistic,
agitating young thug,
- pride may get the best of them.
- Who do you think you are
calling my son a thug?
Running cover for some cracker-ass cop.
The cop is black.
The one who made the stop...
he's black as you and me.
Let me tell you something, lady.
I parachuted out of planes.
I crawled through VC tunnels in Vietnam,
but the most scared I have ever been
in my life, ever,
was when I made my first traffic stop
on a ghetto street.
You know why?
Because there are hip-hop songs
and bumper stickers
and mobs shutting down the interstate
saying that the cops are the enemy.
So it's okay to challenge them,
it's okay to question them.
If they pull you over,
it's okay to bust out with an attitude
and act like gangsters
and have swagger.
You step up to a cop,
that makes you hard, right?
Well, all that bullshit gets cops killed.
I don't know who you're talking about,
but that is not my son.
My son was taught to be respectful
and assert his rights.
When I pull you over, you got no grounds
to "assert your rights."
You know what you got the right to do?
Shut up and do what I say.
I can't believe what I'm hearing.
You serve us. Not the other way around.
What if your car matches one
in an Amber Alert?
What if you fit the BOLO of someone
who just shot up a school?
When you get pulled over,
you got no idea what it might be.
Some hard-acting fool
just gets in the way.
Maybe if you'd have grown up
in the Pork 'n' Beans like me,
you'd understand that black boys
don't act gangsta to be hard.
They do it to hide their fear.
I come up in Overtown, lady.
Ain't nobody got to tell me
why they do what they do.
But hold up.
Y'all's family is living
the American Dream, ain't ya?
Your son got no reason
to be afraid, right?
Is that what I'm supposed to be doing?
Teaching him to be scared?
Be a good boy, keep his mouth shut?
Damn right.
And make sure he understands,
that for us...
there ain't no American Dream.
Well, I guess I just wasn't raised
to be a bitter Uncle Tom like you.
Lady, you got a nerve.
You damn right, I do.
- I'll tell ya...
- Mm-hmm.
...two minutes with you,
and I know your whole adult life.
- Oh, bullshit.
- No, but I do.
I know you got a husband
carries around a picture of you
on his phone,
and every time he say
some fool-ass racist remark,
he pull out that picture and go,
"Oh, no, not me.
'Cause looky here at my black wife."
I know you could never explain to him
that pain in your heart.
That pain that claws out your contentment
because every public service announcement
for hepatitis C
and every malt liquor billboard
got somebody on it
look just like your baby boy.
Or why your son was the tallest
and the smartest kid in third grade,
but the teacher never seemed
to call on him
no matter how high
he raised his little brown hand.
See, 'cause that's a pain
your man could never understand.
So you tried to kill that pain
by making your son proud
and telling him to live
the American Dream
and teaching him to assert his rights,
instead of teaching him how to survive
as a black man in this country.
Fuck you!
One thing I already know for sure
about this incident.
Just like almost every other one of them,
if the young brothers
would have just shut their mouths
and done what they were told,
none of us would be here tonight,
which is what I suggest you do.
Sit tight.
And shut up.
And, sister,
next time you call a black man
an Uncle Tom,
it'd play a whole lot better
if that black man
hadn't just dragged your white husband
out the room in handcuffs.
They booked me.
Gave me a "promise to appear."
Stupid. Stupid...
I don't understand this.
I don't understand...
Why did you walk up to me
at Carl and Joy's party?
The first time we ever met,
why did you walk up to me?
Why did I... oh...
- Kenny... What? Now?
- Tell me.
- Tell me again. Please.
- Babe. I...
Because I was staring at you?
No. I was staring at you.
I couldn't help myself.
- What else?
- I, um...
What else?
You don't think Jamal got himself
into some kind of situation...
We were standing on Carl and Joy's patio
and we were staring at each other...
That's right.
We were staring at each other.
We couldn't take our eyes off each other.
- And?
- And I...
walked over.
You walked over to me.
And my heart was beating
so fast I could hardly talk.
And there were all these girls
parading back and forth to the bar,
but you never looked at one of them.
You just kept walking and staring at me.
- But then you looked up.
- I looked up.
Right past me.
And I thought... "Okay. Maybe not."
- But I...
- But you...
...put my hand on your shoulder.
And you pointed out a bird...
in a tree.
This gorgeous little red bird.
And it flew away.
And you told me it was tired of being...
The second most beautiful creature
at the party.
- That's what you said.
- That's right.
Hey, come here.
It's okay. It's okay.
- It's coming apart.
- Mm-mmm.
Yeah, everything's coming apart.
I know you're not coming back.
It... it hurts, Scott.
It hurts.
And the fact that she's white
makes it almost unbearable.
I don't love her.
Then why?
I just...
I don't...
- Kenny. Ken.
- No.
We made a magnificent person,
didn't we?
We did.
I was thinking...
before you came back,
about that time
when you and I were fighting...
I don't even remember what it was about...
But Jamal was a baby, and I was upset.
And he thought that I was crying
about the thunder and the lightning...
- I remember.
- And he said...
"Don't cry, Mama.
It's just God taking pictures
of the rain."
Yeah. We...
We put it in his baby book.
And he... He grabbed my tears
with his itty-bitty hands
and he tried to put them back in my eyes.
Last night, I told him...
- Ken. Kenny? Kenny.
- No.
We were both furious,
and he was yelling at me, and... and I...
- You what?
- I said things to him.
Okay. What things?
- Oh, God.
- Kendra. Hey, hey.
- Ken...
- Horrible...
things a mother
should never say to a child.
- Okay.
- Oh, God.
I just wanna hold him.
I wanna look him in the eyes
and I just wanna...
I wanna take every word I said
out of his head
and bury it in the ground.
- It's okay.
- God damn it! "Shoot cops."
I should... I should have
gone out there with a razor
and peeled that goddamn thing
off his car.
I should've gone out there
as soon as I saw it.
Shouldn't matter,
shouldn't make a difference.
It's not your fault. It's not his fault.
I'll never say a cross word to him again.
I just need to know he's okay.
He is. He's okay.
- Please, Jesus, let him be okay.
- He's okay.
He's okay.
He's okay.
Your son, Jamal Connor,
was a rear seat passenger
in a vehicle with a Jarvis Bell
and a DeShawn Rolle.
Bell was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant
for marijuana possession.
The car was tailed by a Metro cruiser
near the Scott Projects in Liberty City,
where the driver was observed
purchasing a nickel bag of marijuana.
God damn it.
Following the purchase,
while driving westbound on 79th Street,
the car was approached
by a marked patrol car.
Officer Rodney Banks,
who had witnessed the purchase,
pulled the car over.
The camera on the patrol car
shows Officer Banks approaching
the driver's side of the vehicle.
Mr. Bell was driving the car.
The officer returns to his vehicle
with the occupants' identification
and apparently begins checking them
on his laptop.
After approximately 30 seconds,
Mr. Bell exits the vehicle
and attempts to approach the officer.
The officer pulls his gun
and gets Mr. Bell to the ground.
Oh, God.
As the officer calls for backup,
DeShawn Rolle exits
from the rear of the vehicle.
The officer trains his gun on Rolle.
At that moment,
Jamal Connor exits the vehicle
in an apparent effort
to place his hands on the hood of the car.
- No.
- It's wet, he may have slipped,
as Jarvis Bell simultaneously
begins to stand up and take flight.
The officer, now confronted
with all three vehicle occupants,
one of whom has a warrant,
and not having searched the vehicle
for a possible weapon...
Oh, no.
...fires three shots
at the fleeing suspect.
Either a stray shot or a ricochet,
we don't know which yet,
strikes Jamal Connor in the head...
killing him instantly.
I am...
terribly sorry for your loss.
There will be a full inquiry.
No, no.
I'll give you a moment.
I can't breathe.
My hands, my eyes
Were closed and tight
They always told me I was blind
I couldn't see beyond the lies
Falling was all I knew
Moving too fast
No foot on solid ground
How could I last?
Falling was all I knew
Moving too fast
No foot on solid ground
How could I last?
- There was no light
- I had to feel to find my way
Nothing but rain
Washing over me
- So glad that I know
- So glad
Finally found it shining
The map was useless
The captain clueless
The crew was hopeless
The code was Rubiks
The cold was ruthless
The wind was music
Fantasizing 'bout diamonds
Shining like Stanley Kubrick
Mudslides and swashbuckling
Mop bucket
Clean enough to see your reflection
And not touch it
Clear enough to hear your own mind
And not trust it
Close enough that the goal
Became dry land
And sirens sang of home
And the boat became an island
Cash turn to ash
Once the sea became silent
No one saw it coming
Man, they all gone
Everybody except Paul, man
Paul walked home
There was no light
Yeah, there as no light
There as no light
- Huh!
- Nothing but rain
Nothing but rain
Nothing but rain
So now that I know
So glad, so glad, so glad
So glad I know
So glad I know
When there was no light
There was no light
When there was no light
There was no light
When there was no light