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Warner Bros. to offer free rentals of civil rights drama ‘Just Mercy’

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Warner Bros. said it will make its 2019 civil rights drama “Just Mercy” free to rent on-demand throughout June for “those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society.”

The film dramatizes defense attorney Bryan Stevenson’s appeal of the wrongful murder conviction of Walter McMillian, a black Alabama man sentenced to death under the practice of “judicial override,” in which a judge disregards a jury’s sentencing determination.

An Alabama appeals court unanimously reversed McMillian’s conviction on his fifth appeal in 1993 and granted him a new trial. A circuit court judge dismissed all charges the following week. The movie is based on the memoir of the same name by Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan in the film.

“To actively be part of the change our country is so desperately seeking, we encourage you to learn more about our past and the countless injustices that have led us to where we are today,” the film’s official Twitter account said in a statement Tuesday. “Thank you to the artists, storytellers and advocates who helped make this film happen. Watch with your family, friends and allies.”

The studio made the announcement after several days of protests and unrest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died in police custody last week after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd’s protests that he was unable to breathe.

Although the demonstrations followed Floyd’s death specifically, the deaths of other African Americans have also made headlines in recent months. For example, Ahmaud Arbery, a black jogger, was shot in a Georgia suburb by two white men who claimed they thought he was a burglar, and Breonna Taylor, a Louisville, Ky., EMT was killed in her home by police serving a so-called no-knock warrant.

Tags Ahmaud Arbery Black Lives Matter Breonna Taylor Bryan Stevenson George Floyd Michael B. Jordan police brutality Walter McMillian Warner Bros.

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