Two Sides: A voice outside of requiem, following the tragic deaths of Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Jo
Gwen Carr (Mother of Eric Garner)
During Two Sides (of the story), docuseries (premiering January 22, 2018 at 10:00pm ET) TV ONE will share heart-rending accounts from grieving families, as well as law enforcement officers, and the moments leading up to the deaths of Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, John Crawford and Ezell Ford.
The show is a four-part wave of events discussing the crippling affects of social injustice within black communities.
Two Sides is produced by Academy Award® winner Viola Davis, Julius Tennon (JuVee Productions), and Lemuel Plummer (L. Plummer Media).
Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner (Choked to death Staton/Island NY) said that Two-Sides is a good creation because it gives everyone a voice, who was involved in her son’s incident.
“I think they will take away from this—They will have their own opinion. They can see what happened that day. It’s so inspirational. It’s so impactful.”
Carr went on to say that it will surprise audiences because there were things left out of the newspapers, and they (the family) will finally get to talk about it.
One of the Executive Producers, Lemuel Plummer shared that the docudrama is a passion project.
Lemuel Plummer at pre-screening for “Two Sides (First AME Church Los Angeles).
“My goal of the show, and hope, is to really bridge the gap between white, black and blue—To spark conversation and not controversy,” said Plummer.
“We aren’t taking a bias approach. We’re hearing from all sides.
For the first time, you’ll hear from the police officer’s perspective, and you will also hear from the victim’s family members, and the community.
We want the audience to walk away understanding why these things happened, and to educate folks on why police officers end up making these decisions that unfortunately end up in a really bad situation, where someone is dead— But, we also want police officers to understand how this affects our communities and how it impacts our family members.”
Two Sides isn’t a production that’s derived from opinions. It’s actual events—The truth behind those harrowing stories told by family members and friends.
Stacey Artis, a friend of John Crawford (Shot in Walmart/Dayton, OH), voiced her appreciation for the production. She also elaborated that the docuseries is deeply needed.
“Unfortunately, these cases are just a headline, and a lot of the times, the headlines are wrong. They tend to want to portray the victims as villains, without giving an adequate and accurate backstory, or even a detailed story about what happened in the incident that cause us to lose our loved one.
I’m thankful for the fact that it (Two Sides) does go into detail, about who John was, who he was to us, and who he was as a young man—And how a simple trip to Walmart... he ended up losing his life.
His mother and I have been best friends since eighth grade— And for me to get that phone call from her, I still remember everything as if it was early this morning.”
While interviews ensued, the most adamant and flagrant facts remained throughout our discussion—humanity lacked in the eyes of media.
From day one, Roland Martin kept John’s name in the conversation. He spoke truth every, single, time, that he talked about John. He was the only one. That morning when Tressa (John Crawford's mother) called me to tell me that John was killed, while I talked to her on the phone, I sent messages to my other girlfriends, letting them know what was going on. One of them sent me a message back and said, ‘It’s on MSNBC.’
We live in a little place in Ohio. We don’t think we’re national if its national news like that. It hadn’t been 24-hours yet, and the headline was, “He walked into Walmart with a shotgun.” I knew that was a lie. I told Tressa immediately, “Get ready, they are getting ready to tell all types of lies on your baby. Anything he did wrong from the time he came out the womb, until they murdered him, they are going to bring it up.”
Artis consoled her friend, all the while, she defended Crawford’s integrity as a young black father.
“Every headline was a lie. They made John a villain the minute the news showed up on the scene. If you look back on the videos, the news videos, and even the police interview video, you will see for yourself. They do a lot of things for click and bait. If they just do old-school journalism, [and] get all the facts before you report—Check all your sources [and] ask any, and everybody, before you set your headline up and write your story.
To me, it’s basic old-school journalism. I think we’ve gotten away from that. We have these 24-hour cycles, and everybody wants to be first. It’s not about being first when you’re talking about someone’s loved one being murdered. It’s about the facts."
“This is Gwen Carr. Everything she (Stacey Artis) said is true. As Roland Martin said the other night, “You have to investigate and know your sources before you create the headline because you can be made to look so stupid when the real story comes out. Just like when my son was killed, before we knew there was video, and before the police knew it was a video—They had gone to the police station and said that they were in the process of arresting Eric Garner. He had a heart attack and he died on the scene. This was the story they told, before there was a video.
After the video, when they saw that nothing they said was true, they did nothing about it. They assassinate the character of the person who was killed, but they never go into the background of the person who killed your loved one.”
Photos from pre-screening of Viola Davis executive produced docu-series “Two Sides at First AME Church Los Angeles.
"Two Sides continues TV One's mission to represent the issues and concerns of the importance to the Black community," says D'Angela Proctor, TV One Head of Original Programming and Production. "Inspired by courageous acts such as NBA Champions LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers who donned 'I Can't Breathe' shirts in honor of Garner during pregame warm-ups, and the NFL's Colin Kaepernick who kneeled during the anthem prior to games for an entire season to raise awareness of police brutality, we wanted to utilize our platform to shine a light on this pressing issue. We're honored to work with Viola and Julius who have been active voices in the fight for equality to explore both sides of this dynamic equation, which continues to dominate social and political discourse in America."
JuVee executive producers Davis and Tennon both hope the show can help expand the dialogue around these incidents and provide an opportunity for real change to occur."
ERIC GARNER (43) -- STATEN ISLAND, NY
In the summer of 2014, Eric Garner was choked and killed by NYPD officers while being arrested. The 43-year-old was standing outside of a beauty supply store in Staten Island, New York when police tried to arrest him for allegedly illegally selling loose cigarettes. The video of Officer Daniel Pantaleo putting Garner in a chokehold went viral. Although the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide, a grand jury has thus far declined to indict Pantaleo.
EZELL FORD (25) -- LOS ANGELES, CA
Ezell Ford died at 25-years-old in August 2014 after being shot three times in the back during a scuffle with Los Angeles Police Department Officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas. Competing accounts of the events surrounding Ford's death sparked unrest and demonstrations. Almost two years later, in June 2016, the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners concluded that only one of the officers was justified in the shooting. Upon receiving the ruling, the Ford family filed a lawsuit against the LAPD claiming $75 million in damages; the case was eventually settled out of court.
JOHN CRAWFORD (22) -- DAYTON, OH
John Crawford III was shot by officers while carrying a BB gun at a Wal-Mart store in Beavercreek, Ohio. Crawford was only 22-years-old at the time of his death in August 2014. A grand jury failed to indict Officer Sean Williams and Sgt. David Darkow, leading to protests by members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
SANDRA BLAND (28) -- HEMPSTEAD, TX
In the summer of 2015, Sandra Bland was found hanging in her jail cell after being arrested at a traffic stop three days prior. Her death was ultimately ruled a suicide but Bland's family disagrees. The dispute over Bland's cause of death led to unrest in communities across the nation.
Two Sides is produced for TV One by L. Plummer Media in partnership with JuVee Productions. Lemuel Plummer and Jason Tolbert of L. Plummer Media and Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and Andrew T. Wang of JuVee Productions serve as Executive Producers. For TV One, D'Angela Proctor is SVP, Original Programming & Production and shares executive in charge of production duties with Robyn Greene Arrington, VP, Original Programming &