Matthew Solomon ‘21

Matthew Solomon at Jody Armour screening.

Matthew Solomon’s ‘21 (Online, BS) first documentary feature, Reimagining Safety, will have its Official West Coast Premiere on Friday, February 3, 2023, at the San Pedro International Film Festival. In Reimagining Safety, ten experts—including LA County District Attorney George Gascón, USC Law professor Dr. Jody Armour, and law enforcement expert Alex S. Vitale—discuss the false premise that more police and more prisons make us safer while providing practical and actionable solutions toward achieving systems of safety that work for everyone.

The film is already receiving very positive feedback and support from social justice organizations and newly elected progressive leaders. The film had a screening with Critical Resistance LA on January 7, 2023. It has had requests to provide screenings for Scripps College, El Camino College, Portland State University, Buffalo State University, and more, while also organizing events with BLM Los Angeles and several organizations in the NYC area. The West Coast Premiere will include a screening, panel discussion, reception, and red carpet. The event will be free to attend.

Reimagining Safety Poster

Worldwide protests following the 2020 murder of George Floyd included calls to defund or abolish the police until a sharp rise in crime gave politicians and police supporters the fuel they needed to suppress the movement. Unfortunately, a detailed conversation about transforming public safety was never had. In this film, 10 experts discuss how policing and incarceration create more harm than good, why the system persists, and what changes can be made to make everyone safe. 

Interviews include:

  • LA County DA George Gascón
  • USC Law Professor Dr. Jody Armour
  • Dr. El Jones – professor and co-author of “Defunding the Police – Planning the Way Forward for the HRM”
  • Alex S Vitale – professor, law enforcement expert, and author of “End of Policing”
  • Gina Viola – former LA Mayoral candidate who ran on an abolition platform
  • Nikki Blak – Sociologist, anti-racism educator, and Inglewood born and raised
  • Hawk Newsome – co-founder of Black Lives Matter NY and Black Opportunities
  • Jose Gutierrez – Licensed social worker, therapist, and Restorative Justice practitioner
  • Hadiya Kennedy – former LAPD detective
  • Sennett Devermont – “Mr. Checkpoint,” police auditor and founder of the AFTP Foundation

Read more about “Reimagining Safety” on the film’s website here.  Learn more about the film and the San Pedro International Film Festival on their Facebook page. 

You find tickets to view his film here