The Death of Corey Stingley

2014, Crime  -  26 min Leave a Comment
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This is the story of Corey Stingley, a 16 year-old black student, whom three white adults forcibly restrained after he attempted to shoplift alcohol from a convenience store. The actions of these self-described "good Samaritans" restricted Corey's breathing to the degree he suffered brain damage, resulting in his death two weeks later.

Framed by interviews with Corey's father, Craig Stingley, and set against the backdrop of West Allis, Wisconsin, viewers are presented with evidence that Stingley hopes will result in a charge of Second Degree Reckless Homicide against the three men responsible for asphyxiating his son.

Arriving in court several months after Corey's death, his father meets with the District Attorney to learn the decision of whether or not they will be pressing charges. Footage from the convenience store security camera plays, showing Corey as he shoplifts bottles of alcohol into a backpack. He casually puts his backpack on, peruses the regular beverage cooler and walks up to the counter to pay for a single item.

He is called out for stealing and surrenders his backpack before trying to take back his ID and retreat. As the footage continues his passive actions run in contrast against the audio of righteous, boastful testimonials from the men accused of causing Corey's death.

We return home with Craig, where he reminisces about Corey, a talented young athlete respected by his friends, peers and teachers. The film begs the question of the role race played in the actions against Corey. The black community rallies together in an effort to seek justice for Corey's death as the disturbing history of racial segregation in West Allis is revealed.

Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm shares his decision regarding the charges as protesters call for his replacement. We are again shown footage of Corey's assault against audio of one of his assailants as they try to recount the events of that day. Heartbreaking and frustrating, the story of Corey's loss and the impact it is shown to have on his father and community shines a light on modern displays of racism and related inequities in the legal system.