EXCLUSIVE: “I considered myself both a cop and a gangster.” New documentary The Seven Five chronicles the story of New York City police officer Michael Dowd, whose headline-grabbing 1992 arrest for leading a ring of criminalized cops exposed widespread corruption in the NYPD and sent him to prison for 14 years. Friday at DOC NYC, Dowd will appear at the film’s world premiere, where he’ll be reunited for the first time in decades with the former partner who exposed him.
Dowd began squeezing dealers for cash while working out of the 75th Precinct in crime-ridden East New York, eventually recruiting partner Kenny Eurell and others into an expanding ring of dirty cops active from 1986 through 1992. Their flashy transgressions were so flagrant that then-Mayor David Dinkins appointed the Mollen Commission to investigate, uncovering a history of “brutality, theft, abuse of authority and active police criminality” that had been willfully ignored by Internal Affairs.
The crimes perpetrated by Dowd and his uniformed gang included a scheme in which they pooled their extorted cash to buy cocaine for resale on Long Island. Eurell’s testimony to authorities helped nail a five-monthlong undercover investigation that unveiled a multi-level drug operation involving NYC police officers, drug dealers, and Colombian suppliers. He’s expected to appear alongside the filmmakers and Dowd at the Friday evening premiere.
The Seven Five, directed by Tiller Russell (The Last Rites Of Ransom Pride, Bad Boys Of Summer), is making its debut at DOC NYC where ICM is handling worldwide sales. The true crime tale already has interest from buyers for remake rights, I hear. Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, and Sheldon Yellen are producers. Watch an exclusive teaser above.