In a StoryCorps animation, Alex Landau recalls his harrowing experience being pulled over by Denver police.

Alex Landau, who is African American, was raised by his adoptive white parents to believe that skin color didn’t matter. That all changed at 19, when he was pulled over by the Denver police for making an illegal left turn. In this StoryCorps animation, Traffic Stop, Landau recalls how police officers pulled him out of the car, began to hit him in the face, and threatened to shoot him. It took 45 stitches to close up the lacerations in his face alone. In this short film, which premiered last night at storycorps.org/animation, he and his mother, Patsy, remember that night and how it changed them both forever. "For me it was the point of awakening to how the rest of the world is going to look at you," Landau says. "I was just another black face in the streets."

Traffic Stop will make its national broadcast premiere on PBS’s documentary series POV alongside Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie), a film by Mikaela Shwer, on September 21, 2015.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: A cyclist rides past a closed Victoria Park in East London.
    Perspective

    The Power of Parks in a Pandemic

    For city residents, equitable access to local green space is more than a coronavirus-era amenity. It’s critical for physical, emotional, and mental health.

  2. Coronavirus

    The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

    The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

  3. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  4. Perspective

    In a Pandemic, We're All 'Transit Dependent'

    Now more than ever, public transportation is not just about ridership. Buses, trains, and subways make urban civilization possible.

  5. Illustration: two roommates share a couch with a Covid-19 virus.
    Coronavirus

    For Roommates Under Coronavirus Lockdown, There Are a Lot of New Rules

    Renters in apartments and houses share more than just germs with their roommates: Life under coronavirus lockdown means negotiating new social rules.

×