Imagine being a high school kid traveling to an out of state tournament. Think about the excitement your feeling about heading away from your parents for a couple days. The nerves over playing with different players and the pressure to impress coaches. The pure bliss of a road trip with your buddies.
Now, imagine how you’d feel if you were pulled over by state cruisers and they opened fire.
Not just once.
The police pulled a Rambo and emptied 12 rounds into your car.
This is the tragic story of Danny Reyes, Jermaine Grant, Rayshawn Brown and Keshon Moore.
This summer when I received an email from the director 4 Chosen telling me about his new hoops documentary I had no clue about the story involving these four boys because I rarely watch the news. Because I’m always wanting to learn more about the untold stories of basketball players I jumped at the opportunity to review this documentary.
This is one story I almost wish I hadn’t heard because of it’s unsettling nature.
As the DVD unfolded I found out the boys were on their way to a basketball clinic in North Carolina when a New Jersey State Police cruiser pulled up next to their car. The cops looked into the van and after noticing the colour of these kids skin they immediately pulled their car over. When the media inquired why the teens car was pulled over troopers James Kenna and John Hogan claimed they “clocked” the van going 74 miles an hour.
The problem with this story is these troopers didn’t have radar equipment in their car.
Things then escalated when Trooper Hogan came up on the driver’s side and put his gun to the window and a spooked Moore accidentally knocked the gear into reverse and the van started to move.
This ignited the cops on shooting rampage that lit up the sky like a firecracker on the fourth of July.
Trooper Kenna smashed the front passenger window with his baton and then shot Reyes who tried to put the van into park.
The troopers then proceed troopers to pull a Rambo and fired 12 rounds – pausing only to reload their weapons.
Reyes was hit six times, Grant four and Brown twice.
The cops were the only ones armed as a police search found no guns or drugs in the van.
This haunting story is the basis of the documentary which looks at how these young boys fought through their rehab, rallied around the support of Johnny Cochran and Al Sharpton and eventually were given $12.9 million by the state of New Jersey for being the victims of racial profiling and police abuse.
While watching this DVD I felt a flood of emotions as I went from feeling angry at how these kids were treated, encouraged as I saw countless people rally behind these teens, outrage at what the police were allowed to do and finally relief as these boys were eventually taken care of. Despite the positive ending to this documentary I debated for awhile if I could recommend this flick because it really shook me up and left me disturbed at some of the events that unfolded. After taking a couple of days to reflect upon this I realized that because this movie got to me that I needed to pass on the word about this flick. Isn’t that the point of art, to move and inspire you? This documentary definitely accomplished that goal as it stirred up countless emotions in me while I watched it.
Next time your trying to decide what movie to rent at Blockbuster I recommend you rent 4 Chosen.