During times of tense relations between the public and the police department in Dallas, we were asked by Toni Brinker, the wife of the late T. Boone Pickens, to photograph and film our civil servants at work, as well as members of the community, to foster communication between all sides.
It was a docu-style production where we had a few police officers escort us around town, help us find and introduce us to people on the street, as well as to police on the beat. Once introductions were made, we’d ask if we could film them for a community service spot meant to ease the tension between the two sides. This approach seemed to work well, and we made a lot of friends in the process.
We were able to deliver the final product they needed. And it was great fun hanging out with the police and hearing them talk candidly about their jobs.
We met firemen, motorcycle cops, and the K-9 team, as well as bodega owners, community center volunteers, and people without housing. It was an all-encompassing experience. We filmed current Mayor Mike Rawlins as well as the police chief at the time, David Brown, and heard them discussing how hard it is to please everyone in this divided day and age.
I was reminded by this experience, once again, that people are people everywhere, and communication is critically important to our peaceful coexistence. We all want harmony on the streets. And through listening and being heard we can find a happy medium to move forward as a society.