Many Americans are extremely reluctant to talk publicly about race, a topic made all the more inflammatory by the lack of honest conversation. Race is the elephant in the room we wish would disappear, even when—or sometimes, perhaps, because—the media are saturated with harrowing stories about hate crimes, civil rights violations, education inequities, voter disenfranchisement, redlining, gentrification, and racial profiling by law enforcement. In addressing the last of these issues in the new Showtime documentary 16 Shots, about the October 2014 murder of Chicago west-side Black teenager Laquan McDonald and the trial of his killer, white Chicago Police Department officer and Hinsdale native Jason Van Dyke, writer-director Rick Rowley pulls back the curtain on an institution noted for closing ranks. But by focusing primarily on the crime and its explosive aftermath and very little on McDonald himself, the filmmaker doesn’t go far enough in his indictment of the CPD’s so-termed “code of silence” because the problem doesn’t stop with cover-ups. CONTINUE READING >>>