Common Explores Prison and Race in EPIX’s Docu-Series ‘America Divided’ [VIDEO]
The rap vet sat down with Sheriff Thomas Dart (watch video above) to talk about how the nation’s criminal justice system incarcerates people of color at a disproportionately high rate.
“When you look at the disproportionate impact to people of color, it’s off the charts,” said Dart. “Our numbers virtually never change here. It’s always 75 percent of the population is African-American, 15 percent is Latino, and then you have about 10 percent that’s White. It doesn’t change, it’s been that way...definitely as long as I’ve been sheriff and well beyond that.”
In another segment, Common has a sit-down with former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. He was fired after video surfaced of the 2015 police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The young man was shot 16 times at point blank range after he refused to drop a knife. The video led to mass street protests and, for the first time in the city's history, the prosecution of an on-duty officer for first-degree murder.
Finally, Common travels to Sheridan Correctional Center, a medium security prison in Chicago, to listen to prisoners discuss their struggles in and out of the prison system. America Divided is a five-part docu-series executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, Common and Norman Lear. Each episode will feature a celebrity correspondent investigating aspects of social, economic and political division as it relates to race in America.
Common's America Divided episode airs Friday night (Sept. 30) at 9PM ET on EPIX.