Police Beat

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For the route patrolled by a police officer, see Beat (police).
Police Beat
Police Beat.jpg
Directed by Robinson Devor
Produced by Jeffrey Brown
Alexis Ferris
Barnaby Dorfman
Written by Charles Mudede
Robinson Devor
Starring Pape Sidy Niang
Eric Breedlove
Sarah Harlett
Anna Oxygen
Cinematography Sean Kirby
Edited by Mark Winitsky
Joe Shapiro
Distributed by Northwest Film Forum
Release date
  • 2005 (2005)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Police Beat is a 2005 American crime film directed by Robinson Devor and written by Charles Mudede. It follows the life of an African-born Seattle bicycle officer simply known as "Z" for a week. While Z goes about on his policing duties, he finds himself mentally preoccupied with his girlfriend who has gone on a camping trip with an old male friend. This obsession with the absence of his girlfriend and the escalating jealousy and paranoia makes him unfazed by the crimes he witnesses, which take place in locations all over Seattle (including the Arboretum, Gasworks Park in Wallingford, and the Boeing factory in Renton) on different levels of depravity.

The story is narrated by Z in his native Wolof language (the language of Senegal and parts of Mali, the Gambia, Cote d'Ivoire, and Mauritania), though he makes the transition to English when interacting with those around him. Police Beat provides an interesting glimpse into the life of a new immigrant to the United States that focuses less on the protagonist's experience as a new citizen and more on his response to life in an American city. His observation of both human vice and social outlook is contrasted with his conservative sense of duty, both to his work as a police officer and his relationship with his girlfriend.

Based on real police reports that appeared in Charles Mudede's column "Police Beat" for the weekly The Stranger, the film also provides a snapshot of Seattle in the early 21st century, both in its urban grit and in its natural beauty.

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