Watts Natives Say New LAPD Documentary Could Reignite Deadly Gang War


Sometimes, things done with good intentions tend to have the opposite effect. Shaquille O’Neal and the LAPD’s new film project appears to demonstrate this quite vividly.

One week ago, the collaborative effort between the NBA hall-of-famer and local law enforcement debuted on Netflix. Since then, word has spread and now voices in the Watts community are speaking out.

First, here is the film’s storyline according to IMDb:

A Week in Watts is a feature length documentary that tells the story of six students in Watts, Los Angeles, involved in a program called Operation Progress – which gives youth scholarships to private schools in the area and pairs them with LAPD police officer as mentors.

At face value, the initiative seems like a genuine effort to improve public relations within the community. However, when members of the community saw it, they did not see it that way.

Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) president, Punch, took to Twitter to share his concerns. The Watts native questioned why officers felt the need to include footage of a young man from Watts’s Nickerson Gardens neighborhood’s murder.

Watts rapper Killa Twan shared the same view, asserting that the reasoning behind that move implies something more sinister.

Others who work with children from the community also vented their frustrations on social media. Eric Strong, a Los Angeles schoolteacher, said that he watched the film after one of his students who lives in Watts’ Nickerson Gardens community told him to watch it. Though he approached the film with high expectations, Strong’s review was anything but positive.

See the post in his own words below.

Hopefully, Shaq and the LAPD will address the legitimate concerns shared by many watts and Los Angeles residents.