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Film 7 - Gangs

Other than racial profiling, what would you possibly call a list made up of individuals who are 98.8% from black or Latino communities in a city that’s 44% white? That’s the makeup of the gang database in the city of New York and that is the question asked in this short documentary. It explains the connection between a 1970’s federal law meant to target sophisticated organized crime and the implementation of gang policing in New York and other parts of the country.

The film challenges stereotypes about gangs and complicated conversations about violence and crime and who’s committing it. The video dives deeper into how multiple local law enforcement agencies can label individuals based on what they wear, who they hang out with, where they live and even what they post on social media. It explains how this action often leads to the criminalization of entire communities, erodes due process, and can lead to irreparable harm for individuals whose information lives in these gang databases (often times without their knowledge).

Director: Divad Durant

Featured Interviews:

  • Giovanni Rodríguez AKA King Karrot, rapper
  • Nathalia Varela, Associate Counsel, Latino Justice
  • Babe Howell, Professor of Criminal Law, CUNY School of Law
  • Vidal Guzmán, Community Organizer, Just Leadership USA


“We’re are at a very specific time right now where the issue is even more elevated for Latinos than maybe before because there is a new lens on it as well which is, how this gang policing is being used to deport Latino immigrants and criminalize Latino youth.”

- Nathalia Varela

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