BET Networks continues its slate of award-winning Truth Series original documentaries with the premiere of the compelling film, “Charged: The DA vs. Black America,” which will air Monday, November 7, 2016 at 9:00 P.M., ET/PT. This special is BET’s battle cry for all registered voters on Election Day to pay close attention to the men and women on the ballot for district attorney in their local community.
There are more than 2,300 prosecutors in the country, 95 percent of whom are white. And it is the prosecutor and the prosecutor alone that decides who to charge, what charges to bring and what the plea bargain will be. All of these negotiations happen behind closed doors.
Produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions and narrated by Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of the legendary hip hop band The Roots, “Charged: The DA vs. Black America,” is an alarming wake-up call regarding the absolute power of the District Attorney. With an in-depth look into the DA’s impact on individuals and families across the country, the documentary exposes how some of these elected prosecutors have contributed to America’s mass incarceration of Black men. Today, there are more African-American men in prison, on parole or on probation than were enslaved in 1850.
The documentary features an exclusive interview with Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, one of the few Black female prosecutors in the entire country who garnered notoriety for charging six police officers in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Rashad Robinson, Political Action Committee Spokesperson for Color of Change, the largest online, non-profit racial justice organization, also appears in the special. Robinson recalls the recent victory in galvanizing Chicago voters, using the hashtag #ByeAnita, to remove Cook County District Attorney Anita Alvarez from office following what many in the community saw as her mishandling of the Laquan McDonald case, a 17-year-old African-American male shot 16 times by a police officer.
“Charged: The DA vs. Black America” is part of BET’s Truth Series, where passionate award-winning, independent filmmakers like actor/activist and executive producer Jesse Williams (Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement), television producer and journalist Sacha Jenkins (CNN Film’s Fresh Dressed), Emmy award-winning director Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution), and Emmy award-winning producer Candi Carter (Katrina 10 Years Later: Through Hell or High Water), are given the creative freedom to document and give voice to the Black experience.