Black Cop (2017)

Police brutality towards the Black community is such a systemic issue that Black parents prepare their children for the police from a young age. It’s a set of rules added to life lessons, such as tying shoelaces or looking both ways when crossing the street. In the 2017 film Black Cop, we follow one man who reaches his limit as a police officer and comes to terms with his Black identity.

A Black cop (Ronnie Rowe) does the rounds on a typical day in an unnamed city. He is morally suspect and enjoys the power he wields. He deals not only with the resentment most feel towards the police but also from the Black community, which collectively shuns him after the many shootings and brutality committed against Black people. When he is stopped on his nighttime jog by his police colleagues, he experiences the racial bias that has killed many innocents. Filled with rage, he goes rogue and turns the tables on white people on what he decides is his retirement day, wreaking havoc with harsh takedowns. His actions are punctuated with voice-overs of uninformed white opinions perpetuated about police brutality towards Black people. As he runs rampant, he’s followed by a mysterious black teen in a hoodie, keeping a watchful eye on the officer’s actions, and the clock counts down until the Black cop is discovered.

Director and writer Cory Bowles, best known for his role on Trailer Park Boys, created a performance piece with Black Cop, showing the frustrations of racial bias, blatant racism, and the lot Black people have been handed for centuries. Part spoken word, part stage play, and part film, it’s a dark and poignant fantasy illustrating the dangers of being a visible minority, being brutalized by the police and the fears Black people deal with daily.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette


Ronnie Rowe




Black Stories, Free to Watch, TIFF

Canadian connection

Writer/Director Cory Bowles
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Winner of the John Dunning Discovery Award at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.