Shawn Rech’s documentary “White Boy” kicks off what could be the summer of White Boy Rick.
The complicated story of Richard Wershe Jr., the longest-serving non-violent juvenile offender in Michigan, “White Boy” talks about the American justice system’s flawed war on drugs and its devastating impact on a generation of young black men.
Then 17 year-old Richard Wershe, Jr. allegedly ran a vicious, sophisticated underground cocaine operation throughout inner-city Detroit. Arrested as a teen and sentenced to life-without parole, he remained imprisoned 30 years.
In this documentary, Rech makes the case that “White Boy Rick” – a nickname popularized in media coverage of Detroit’s 1980s drug gangs – was a pawn in a larger story of law enforcement betrayal and police corruption.
With about 10 minutes of new footage added since its 2017 Freep Film Festival premiere, White Boy debuted on Tuesday on iTunes and went wide on other digital platforms on June 5.
The “White Boy” documentary will include excerpts from an interview with award-winning former Free Press reporter Joe Swickard, who participated in a panel discussion at the 2017 Freep Film Festival.
White Boy hit the web shortly after the arrival of the first poster for “White Boy Rick.” Starring Matthew McConaughey as Wershe’s father. this feature film traces a complex relationship between Richard Wershe, Jr. and his father. . This movie opens in theaters on Sept. 21.
Also scheduled for release June 25, is the new book “Prisoner of War: The Story of White Boy Rick and the War on Drugs.” This book was written by former Detroit TV reporter Vince Wade, who covered Wershe extensively in the 1980s.
Wershe is now incarcerated in Florida for a conviction involving being part of a stolen car ring while in prison. He is set to be released in 2021.