Earlier this month, Al Jazeera released The Lives of Women, a short documentary telling the stories of black women killed during encounters with Chicago police. The 25-minute film was released a part of the network's Fault Lines series.
The film opens with an account of the death of 22 year-old Rekia Boyd, who was shot and killed by off-duty officer Dante Servin while unarmed in 2012. Servin was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but was cleared of all charges in 2015. Boyd's story is told in vivid detail, as is that of Bettie Jones, who was shot and killed las year at 55 by police responding to a call about a neighbor of hers allegedly carrying a bat.
The stories, told through firsthand accounts from both friends and family members of the victims and the officers themselves, are connected for obvious reasons. In both cases, the officers involved were cleared of any wrongdoing, despite substantial public outcry and media coverage.
In particular, the film highlights the relative discrepancy in terms of coverage around incidences of police violence involving female victims. "They don't talk about women that much when they get killed by the police. They barely talk about women.," says Rekia Boyd's brother Martinez Sutton in the film, "It's crazy because you see that even in death women play the second role." Watch the film in its entirety above.