It was no secret back in the 80’s and 90’s, director and actor Spike Lee did not like police and the justice system too much. Remember “Do The Right Thing”? Well it seems like these days, he’s taking a different approach and working together with the NYPD to improve the African-American community’s relationship with police.
In 2016, Spike became a consultant for a community policing campaign and received $219,113 from the New York City Police Foundation to produce ads for the de Blasio administration’s community policing initiative. According to The Wall Street Journal, Spike said, “The #NYPD came to me knowing I have been critical of them. I think it’s important for open dialogue to make what has been a tough relationship better.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Spokesman Brady Littlefield made a statement saying, “The Foundation approached and consulted several creative teams including the Spike DDB agency to help develop a public awareness campaign that would aim to strengthen the partnership between the NYPD and the communities it serves.”
NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, said they wanted to tap Spike Lee for the project because, “You want to reach out to folks. Not just the folks who are supporters pretty consistently but also folks who have certainly been critics in the past.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The Police Foundation’s most recent tax filings, covering some of 2016 and 2017, is how the discovery was made about the collaboration. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In 2014, Spike released a mini-doc with edited footage of #EricGarner being fatally choked together with his character #RadioRaheem, from “Do The Right Thing,” being fatally choked by the NYPD.