BET series premiere of “Finding Justice” screened in Baltimore


Screening of Finding Justice, photo by Iyanna Harris

Iyanna Harris, Staff Writer

Finding Justice, a six-part docuseries by BET Networks, screened a premiere in Baltimore on Thursday highlighting the racial inequalities in six different cities that will premiere on Sunday evening. 

From executive producers Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, the screening was hosted by author and political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry followed by Q&A with Dwight “D” Watkins and Valencia Clay.

Finding Justice exploits the injustices within the African American community, following six urban cities including Tampa, St. Louis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, and Baltimore. The episodes analyze the issues of cash bail, stand your ground law, police brutality, criminalization of kids, voter suppression and the lead paint crisis.

“As you watch this, ask yourself…what is justice?” said Harris-Perry, as the first episode Stand Your Ground began.

Following the death of 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton, protesters fled the streets of Clearwater, FL, in an attempt to counteract the stand your ground law and demand justice for the McGlockton family. Florida’s stand your ground law states that one has a right to use deadly force in order to protect oneself from death or bodily harm.

“I always thought he would be burying me, in this case, I’m the one burying him,” said Michael McGlockton, father of Markeis McGlockton.

His whole world turned upside down the afternoon Michael Drejka, 49, shot and killed McGlockton.

Activist Rashad Robinson ended the first episode with this ideology “If racism and manufactured fear is the gun powder, then stand your ground is the match.”

Concluding the premiere, panelists Watkins and Clay joined Harris-Perry for an in-depth conversation on stand your ground laws and opened the discussion to audience members.

As a Baltimore City native, Watkins viewed stand your ground as a process to annihilate the African American community.

“You wanna see stand your ground laws disappear? Have millions of black-owned gun stores,” said Watkins.

The United States has approximately 55,000 firearm dealers and stores as of 2015, and since then 13 states have pending legislation to strengthen their law. There are more gun stores than most food chain companies in America.

Discouragingly enough, stand your ground laws are only a portion of the problem.

“It’s not only about injustices it is [a] psychological warfare that we are fighting,” said Clay, as she examined the root of these disparities.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps instructor at Morgan State University, Joshua Austin, believes on the topic of justice reform that change starts within the community and in order to see it one has to be made.

“If we can help each other on a daily basis, I think it would be more effective then us getting together once every six months to march or every time there is an injustice. We have to be that difference,” said Austin.

Stay tuned as Finding Justice airs on BET Networks Mar. 10, 2019 at 8 p.m.