Friday, December 15, 2017

American Hero Or The Biggest Rat In NYPD History? New Documentary Explores The Controversial Legacy Of The Late Robert Leuci, Whose Turn Undercover Led To More Than 50 Indictments of 1970s New York Cops

Sheila Flynn at the Daily Mail offers a piece on a new documentary about the late Robert Leuci, the former NYPD detective who testified about police corruption and was portrayed in Robert Daley’s  true crime book, Prince of the City, which was later made into a film by director Sidney Lumet.

The unlikely duo met at a barbecue in Rhode Island, a young Norwegian student of photojournalism and a former NYPD detective who exposed massive corruption within the force in the 1970s. Magnus Skatvold had no idea who Bob Leuci was when he was first introduced to him, considering the New York native a ‘fast-talking … very kind, very charismatic grandfather that was just the center of attention and telling stories and being very interested in everybody.’

They struck up a friendship, and the more that Skatvold learned about Leuci, the more fascinated he became. Their relationship eventually sowed the seeds for a new documentary, which was just awarded the prestigious Pitch Perfect Award at DOC NYC film festival – a prize given to a work-in-progress during a daylong pitch event.

Blue Code of Silence is currently a 60-minute rough cut, directed by Skatvold and Gregory Mallozzi, telling the story of how Leuci brought down New York City’s most corrupt police unit – at a grave personal cost. Skatvold interviewed and collaborated with Leuci, who tragically died during the making of the film, as well as family members, friends and people connected with the story.

Leuci had agreed in the 1970s to cooperate with the Knapp Commission, which had been formed by New York Major John V. Lindsay following whistleblower revelations by other legendary NYPD officers. The commission aimed to investigate corruption within the system; Leuci, heavily entrenched in a narcotics unit and tainted by participation himself, agreed to go undercover – but insisted on exposing the whole system and not just cops.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my Q&A with Robert Leuci via the below link:

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