"Cops and Robbers" on Netflix 1 Favorite 


Dec 28 2020



Following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, corporations jumped on the opportunity to commodify the Black Lives Matter movement. In June of 2020, Netflix launched a Black Lives Matter collection, and by December, they had released Cops and Robbers, an animated short about racial injustice.

On February 23rd of 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was killed while out for a jog by three armed white men. The three men were not arrested until 74 days after the murder. In response, directors Arnon Manor and Timothy Ware-Hill, who is also the writer and only person to star in the film, collaborated to bring Ware-Hills poem to life through animation. Manor and Ware-Hill say they created Cops and Robbers “for all the Black men, women and children who have been victims of racial profiling, police violence, loss of life and other injustices just for being themselves.”

The powerful short-animated film begins focused on Timothy Ware-Hill’s face while jogging but quickly transitions into animation form. Over 30 individual artists, students, and VFX companies from around the world united to each create a short segment of the poem with their own visual renditions of the subject matter. Half of the artists featured in the film are Black.

Cops and Robbers features compelling imagery, with various styles of animation, as well as a poignant message about systemic racism in America. In the short film, Timothy Ware-Hill begins by saying, “I wanna go back to when we used milk crates as basketball hoops. When ‘hands up don’t shoot’ was for B-boys blocking jump shots. Now, Brown boys blocking cop shots. Instead of hoop dreams it’s now cell blocks. Instead of hoop dreams its now grave plots.” With just those few lines Ware-Hill, reflects on what childhood should feel like, but for people of color their youth is often robbed from them by racism that manifests itself in every aspect of life, even as children.

Cops and Robbers premiered on Netflix on December 28, 2020.

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How does this project help?

Timeframe For change


Since the short film was on Netflix, it was able to reach a wide audience therefore brought attention to it that most likely would not have occurred otherwise. Additionally, the message is palatable, yet poignant enough to appeal to a range of consumers.