I was riding in a car with my friend and he got pulled over for tinted windows and they didn't ask for his information at all, but I was sitting in the passenger seat and they asked for my ID. I didn't know my rights at the time and produced it. And they ran it. And they found four warrants, very, very exaggerated, warrants. Like two felonies, two misdemeanors, and they took me away. It felt like kidnapping.
I was in high school at the time I was arrested; it was my senior year. It was the last month of school and I was very, very, very scared that I wasn't going to be able to finish high school because of the days I was missing. That was at the forefront of my mind, not being able to graduate high school. That was pretty scary.
“The Arrest” is about a young woman’s experience in the New Orleans criminal justice system. Before filming, I knew that I wanted to describe Chasity’s experience of jail rather than answer everyone’s automatic question: “Why were you in jail?” “Why” seemed superfluous— her jail experience was horrific, far from a vision of justice. Yet in the editing process, almost every viewer wondered about the “why.” I added a title card. To me, the “why” matters only in so far as it begs another, bigger question: Does anyone, under any circumstances, deserve this kind of treatment?
The Arrest, 2018