Crash- Review and Analysis

Crash Analysis

Damian Anderson

Columbia College

Crash is 2004 drama film directed by Paul Haggis and follows the lives of several separate people whose lives connect over the span of 36 hours. Their interaction revolves around a simple theme: racism. Though it is an unwanted substance in society, racism exists in more than one faucet. The film not only cover whites being racist of blacks, but blacks racist of white, Persians racist of Hispanics, ect. Some of the key points in the film revolve around the action and choices of Officer John Ryan, played by Matt Dillon.

There were several situations in the film that arose in regards to choices of Officer Ryan that are directly connected to the text. In one of his first scenes, the decorated officer chooses to stop a SUV, claiming that it may have been connected a hijacked vehicle, when actuality it was because the passenger appeared to be performing oral sex on the driving. Once stop the officer asked both the passenger and driver are asked to step outside, after the passenger was vocally aggressive. This lead to Officer Ryan performing a pat down of the passenger, and in the progressive gropes her sexually. The driver is intimidated by the officer and doesn’t oppose Officer Ryan. Another officer with Ryan also doesn’t oppose the officer actions immediately.

This scene alone has numerous things packed into it that the text mentions throughout. Chapter 2 speaks primarily of racism in the police department; it cites that some police department carries serious repercussions when allegations of racism occur on behalf of their employees.   A police department in California, Alameda Police Department, carried punishment that included termination (Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olsen, Harris, 2015). The department’s general orders include the following: 1) Code of Ethics, when an officer commits to personal suppression of prejudice, animosities, malice and ill will, 2) Discrimination of any form (age, sex, race, national origin), 3) Impartiality to all individuals and promises equal protection under the law, and 4) harassment in the workplace for any reason including race, ethnicity, disability, sex, age, ect. is prohibited (  Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olsen, Harris, 2015). This department had also released action that would not be condoned, they are: 1) racism, racial slurs, racial discrimination, 2) sexism, offensive sexual remarks, sexual discrimination, 3) discrimination or harassment for sexual orientation, and 4) religious discrimination (Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olsen, Harris, 2015). Officer Ryan would clearly be guilty due to his sexual action toward the passenger.

The second piece of information taken from scene would concern the distrust of law enforcement. It is unfortunate that a large population of community feel that the police aren’t there to protect them but to oppress them. Many ethnic groups such as those from South America, Puerto Rico, and Cuba have faced such things in their native land (Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olsen, Harris, 2015). In Crash, it shows one man (Officer Ryan) creating distrust with one woman. However, this just shows a singular event that can occur in other beat, towns and communities. It only takes a few media sources to turn a community against the police. It has been in done with the Black Lives Matter movement over and over, based on information that the media broadcasts. Similar protest could occur given the same outrage over another issue or misuse of power.

The film Crash shows an accurate display of an accurate picture of what power the police hold. There is an immediate need for policies and proper procedures, including severe disciplinary actions, in regards allegation of prejudice action by the employees of the department. There is already enough distrust out there and by implementing more programs regarding the issues at hand, the community may once again be partnered with law enforcement. Until then, police will be looked upon as oppressors.

Works Cited

Haggis, P. (Director). (2004) Crash [Motion Picture on DVD]. United States: Sony Pictures

Shusta, Robert M., Levine, Deena R., Wong, Herbert Z., Olson, Aaron T., Harris, Philip R. (2015). Multicultural Law Enforcement: Strategies for Peacekeeping in a diverse society. (6th ed.) Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ. Print




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