Over the next year we’ll be hearing a lot about the violence that erupted in cities across the nation in 1967. From New York to Houston to Portland, Oregon, there was fighting in the streets as African-Americans rose up in rebellion against the racist conditions they were forced to exist under.
David Van Wie was en route to the shooting range with his father when he noticed the notch marks at the base of his dad's gun.
"I asked him what they were doing there, and he said, 'What the hell do you think they're doing there?' " Van Wie said. "He told me he had shot a couple of people as a police officer, but he didn't really elaborate."
Two decades passed before Van Wie learned the rest of the story: In the early '70s, his father had served on the Detroit Police Department's infamous "Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets" unit, known as S.T.R.E.S.S.
In the early 1970s, the Detroit Police Department decided to try something new, in its effort to reduce crime. The new film, "Detroit Under S.T.R.E.S.S.," tells the story of that unit. Phoenix-based filmmaker David Van Wie is the movie’s producer and director.
“Detroit Under S.T.R.E.S.S” pulls off the bandage on one of the city’s most tense periods: the relationship between the African American community and law enforcement in the 1970s.
In his 1973 campaign Coleman A. Young pledged to eliminate a troubled police decoy unit, S.T.R.E.S.S (Stop the Robberies and Enjoy Safe Streets).
David Van Wie Director of Detroit Under Stress talks about his film that won Best of Festival at the Full Bloom Film Festival. The film tells the story of a controversial undercover program during the 1970's in Detroit.
The documentary "Detroit Under S.T.R.E.S.S." will be screening at the Royal Starr Film Festival on Saturday at 3 p.m.
For David Van Wie, the idea for his documentary, Detroit Under STRESS, came after learning about his father’s involvement with a controversial special police task force in the ‘70s, known as S.T.R.E.S.S (Stop The Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets).
Lineup includes offerings from Spike Lee and Asghar Farhadi, and a documentary from Whitworth grad David Van Wie
As a child in Michigan, David Van Wie never quite knew what his father did for a living. He went to several police funerals, but his dad was tight-lipped about his occupation. Van Wie graduated high school and, while in college, he asked his father to take him to the shooting range. It was there he noticed notch marks on the bottom of his .357.
Documentary looks back at violent history of Detroit police’s S.T.R.E.S.S. units. Check out the podcast by listening here or on Michigan 91.7 FM's website.