A Rare Look Inside the Embattled Oakland Police Department With the Filmmaker of 'The Force'

“Cops have a very hard job to do and [they] get a bad rap, but also...they’re doing very bad things on a daily basis,” says Peter Nicks, a black filmmaker who embedded with Oakland police for two years to produce a documentary called The Force, which premieres Friday.


“What does it mean to humanize a cop? It doesn’t mean to necessarily make them look good. It means presenting them in their full three dimensions,” Nicks says.

During production, the federal government was overseeing the department in response to misconduct. Then, as Nicks was wrapping up production, news broke that the department was involved in an underage sex scandal.