Serve and Protect: Exploring interactions between youth and police

June 18, 2008

Youth speak about their experiences during the premiere

Last Thursday, Suffolk Law School hosted the premiere screening of Serve and Protect – Reframing Youth Police Relationships. The 35 minute film was created by the youth media production group of the YWCA Boston Youth Voice Collaborative. The film features interviews with juvenile justice professionals, teens, youth workers and MBTA transit police. It explores the relationship between teens and police, particularly within the Boston area, and how this dynamic is shaped and affected by the media.

According to the YWCA, "This film hopes to make adults and young people aware of the role that manufactured images play in the decisions they make about law and order, and aims to give everyone some tools to think critically about a more just society."

Attendees included a MBTA police sergeant and formerly incarcerated young women. REEP youth organizers were also present, including REEP alum David Noiles who was prominently featured in the video.

REEP participating in the screening and discussion

The event explored issues of racism and disempowerment, especially for young men of color who are disproportionately stopped by the police. This film disproved stereotypes based on appearance and the portrayal of criminals in the media, showing responsible and concerned youth. After the screening, Dan Owusu, one of the leading members of the film crew, thanked Marléna Rose, REEP program director, for her work with REEP and her help in making this film possible.

For more information on youth and the law, please contact Lisa Thurau-Gray of the Juvenile Justice Center at (617) 305-3200.