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‘We Are Going to Change the Discussion’: Documentary Film About 2016 Police Stand-Off and Death of Korryn Gaines Is Announced

A new documentary film about the police standoff that led to the death of Korryn Gaines is in the works. Gaines died at the hands of the Baltimore County Police Department after she was shot to death inside her apartment on Aug. 1, 2016, near Baltimore in Randallstown, Maryland.  

The film will be directed by Jason Pollock, who also directed the documentary “Finding Kendrick Johnson” and “Stranger Fruit.” 

Korryn Gaines
Korryn Gaines was killed by Baltimore County police during a 2016 standoff. (Photo: Instagram)

Gaines was shot in front of her then-5-year-old son after a six-hour stand-off, which the 23-year-old live-streamed on Facebook to document the account. The police were serving an arrest warrant over a missed court date for a traffic infraction. Gaines’ fiancé, who also was the subject of an arrest warrant at the apartment that day, left the residence with the couple’s then-1-year-old daughter during the standoff as the boy stayed behind with his mother.

Gaines was inside her apartment armed with a shotgun. She was eventually shot to death after the police cut her live Facebook stream and broke down the door to her apartment, despite having a key from the landlord. Her 5-year-old son, who had hidden in a closet, was also shot in the elbow and face after he left the closet and ran from the police. No charges were filed.

The family won a wrongful death lawsuit against Baltimore County and was awarded $3 million, with Gaines’ young son originally being awarded more than $32 million of a total $38 million award by a jury. However, the judgment was overturned by ex-cop and Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Mickey J. Norman. The family has yet to receive any money from the settlement.  

Pollock released a statement about the project. “Justice for Black women in our society always gets swept under the rug. Far too often the media will focus on the police killings of men. That’s why our team felt it is important to fight for Korryn right now. We are going to change the discussion with this project and focus on a case that the media just used as a hashtag in 2016 and then quickly forgot.” 

Gaines’ mother, Rhanda Dormeus, released a statement about the upcoming film. “Our family is so grateful to Jason and his team for choosing my daughter’s case as his next movie project,” said Dormeus. “I absolutely loved Jason’s investigative work on ‘Stranger Fruit’ and ‘Finding Kendrick’ Johnson. We are so honored that he’s committed to spending his time fighting for us now, for Korryn.” 

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