Controversial Documentary Depicts 'Tough Reality' In Rocky Mount
Posted March 28, 2006 7:37 a.m. EST
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Authorities say a documentary circulating around the town of Rocky Mount is in poor taste, promotes violence and glamorizes gang activity, but the maker of the video says it's just reflecting real life.
"Welcome to the Mount," released by the Rocky Mount production company Heaven Sent Entertainment, shows people badly beaten, depicts violence, drugs and weapons.
"It would promote gang activity because people will watch it and be influenced by it, especially, some of our young people -- and that's what's so frightening about it," said Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins.
But Curtis Walker, who owns the production company, says he's not showing anything that people in Rocky Mount neighborhoods haven't already seen.
"It's just real life," Walker said. "It's really happening."
Since the documentary's release in January, law enforcement agencies in the region are stepping up checkpoint patrols. Police are also looking for certain people who appear on the video to file charges against them.
Walker never expected his video to have the impact it did. He says everything he taped was real and actually happened in Nash and Edgecombe counties.
And the reality was shocking.
"That is reality, in some sense," said Rocky Mount Police Chief John Manley. "But at the same time, I would tell you that's certainly not something you want out there to glamorize in any way. And you wouldn't want to misguide youth in that regard."
"What you don't understand is that them same kids that seen these DVDs is out here everyday," Walker said. "You think the DVD showed them something -- you come stay in their apartment for two weeks."
Manley agrees that Walker is talented and that the video shows a tough reality. But ultimately, he believes both are misdirected.