StoryCorps animation tells excessive-force survivor Alex Landau’s story

Maybe you’ve heard Alex Landau’s story before.

Growing up black in Denver, he had never had a bad interaction with cops until six years ago when Denver police beat him bloody on a sidewalk.

He sued the city and ended up getting a $795,000 settlement. The officers were fired. And he’s been speaking out against police brutality ever since — leading the charge to recall Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, working with the Colorado Progressive Coalition to manage the organization’s racial-profiling hotline and protesting excessive force in Denver and around the country.

Last year, Landau and his white adoptive mother Patsy Hathaway went on StoryCorps — NPR’s oral history project. They recounted what happened and why it changed everything they thought they knew about race in America. The story aired in the midst of the heightened debate over police brutality in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson.

Last week, StoryCorps, along with PBS POV, gave Landau and his mother’s words life in an animated short titled “Traffic Stop.” The expressive animation is a poignant rendering of Landua’s story, a powerful reflection on race in the United States and a succinct look at the impact of police violence on one young man and his mother.

See the video below.

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