PROGRAM 8 - Justice for All
Part of an NBC News network-wide initiative inspired by Lester Holt's work on criminal justice reform. These stories highlight the stories that captivated the nation and put a spotlight on the advocates, organizations and lawmakers finding life-changing solutions in the fight against the drug epidemic, mass incarceration, and more.
St. Louis Superman
Directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, USA. Bruce Franks Jr. is a 34-year-old battle rapper, leading Ferguson activist and state representative from St. Louis, Missouri. Known as ‘Superman’ to his constituents, he’s a unique political figure — full of contradictions and deep insights and overcame unspeakable loss to become one of the most dynamic and unapologetic young leaders in the country. This verite documentary follows Bruce at a critical juncture in his life as he’s forced to deal with the mental trauma he's been carrying for nearly 30 years after his nine-year-old brother was shot and killed in front of him.
Church of Safe Injection
Directed by Marshall Crook, USA. On a frigid night in Lewiston, Maine, church volunteer Kandice Child drives around and illegally distributes fresh needles and the anti-overdose drug, Naloxone. Kandice knows she can’t stop drug use but by providing clean needles and support she hopes she can help an ostracized community and maybe save some lives along the way.
Directed by Johanna Hamilton, USA. Meet the lawyers tasked with defending 9/11 suspect Ammar al-Baluchi against the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay.
Directed by Jeremy Raff, USA. Kevin Simmers is a former police sergeant in Hagerstown, Maryland. During his tenure as a narcotics officer, he aggressively pursued drug arrests—especially those related to heroin. “I believed my entire life that incarceration was the answer to this drug war,” Simmers says in this documentary from The Atlantic. Then his 18-year-old daughter, Brooke, became addicted to opioids.