Just a few years removed from Detroit’s 1967 race riots, a new police unit appeared on the streets of Detroit. S.T.R.E.S.S. (Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets) was a vicious decoy unit which targeted African American men. Its brutality ultimately led to the deaths of 24 men – 22 of whom were black – over the course of three and a half years.
Although the city pointed to data that suggested the tactics led to reductions in crime. to residents, STRESS represented a form of violent oppression, and it was disbanded by Mayor Coleman A. Young.
“Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win” focuses on activist Ken Cockrel’s, a crusading youngDetroit attorney, battle against a controversial Detroit Police Department unit. It was announced Thursday as the winner of Freep Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award, an award it won following a sold-out Sunday screening at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
All the festival’s feature-length documentaries released in 2018 or 2019 were in the running, with more than 40 films eligible. The award, which was presented by Chemical Bank, comes with a $1,000 prize.
Attendees voted on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. The results were averaged and then weighted to reflect the number of votes for each film and across the entire festival.
“It was incredibly close race among the attendees’ top four favorite films,” said the festival’s executive director Steve Byrne. “But there was a very real energy and a ton of audience engagement at the DIA for the ‘Dare’ screening, so we feel like voters made an excellent choice.”