Precinct Seven Five

Movies, Documentary
4 out of 5 stars
Precinct Seven Five

A hugely entertaining documentary about New York's dirtiest cop, who ruled the streets during New York's dirtiest decade

Think of Joe Pesci in motormouth mobster mode. Now put him in a police uniform. You’ve got Michael Dowd, a dirty cop in New York during the 1980s crack epidemic, when the city’s crime rate was one of the highest in America. This seriously entertaining doc is the story of Dowd’s rise and fall, with wise-guy characters as funny and reprehensible as any Martin Scorsese ever dreamed up.

In their heyday, Dowd and his crew were charging $8,000 a week to a drug gang in return for security – tipping them off on police busts, providing a police escort for the stash and robbing rival gangs at gunpoint. What they got up to would ‘scare Clint Eastwood’, says one of Dowd’s crew.

The thing about Dowd is you like him. Call it sociopathic charm; he talks about his criminal days with the cheeky grin of a kid who’s been caught by teacher. ‘Mike was fucking nuts,’ says the drug kingpin he worked for. One of the biggest dealers in the city, he’s straight out of ‘The Wire’. With a knowing smile he says of one employee: ‘He’s not around anymore. I’m not saying I killed him. He’s not around anymore.’ You couldn’t make it up.

By: Cath Clarke

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