The Intercept has released a short documentary by reporter and filmmaker Stephanie Tangkilisan focused on the effects of the “Bronx 120” raid, the largest in New York City history, on the life and prospects of a young man named Kraig Lewis.
Tied to a feature article written by Intercept reporter Alice Speri, this exclusive short documentary shows how gang prosecutions are used in the mass criminalization of communities of color, also highlighting the abuses behind the use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO Act, to prosecute street crime.
“Lewis spent 22 months in jail before pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute marijuana and once having owned a gun,” wrote Sepri. “There was no physical evidence against him — just text messages he had exchanged with friends from his neighborhood, social media photos that showed him socializing with other co-defendants, and the word of an unnamed witness.”
“I worked so hard, I had a plan, and that’s what’s killing me,” Lewis told The Intercept. “Growing up, you always feared the word ‘felon,’ because it’s like, you get a felony, you can’t do anything in the world.”
Reporter Alice Speri writes about justice, immigration, and civil rights. She has reported from Palestine, Haiti, El Salvador, Colombia, and across the United States. She is originally from Italy and lives in the Bronx.
Filmmaker Stephanie Tangkilisan is a reporter and visual storyteller. Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, she took on her first newsroom internship at the age of 18 with The Jakarta Globe. Her reporting on the Jakarta bombings was published on the front page of the newspaper. She went on to study Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Chicago. Where her focus was on genocide and the involvement of the military in instigating violence.
She went on a detour in finance, working at Morgan Stanley and then in business development.Then she decided to go back to her journalistic roots, founding an explainer news start up, PinterPolitik.com. Where she led a team to create video stories on Indonesian history, politics and policy. Finding visual storytelling as her true passion, she went to Columbia Journalism School where she obtained a M.S. in Documentary Specialization.