2017 Soo Film Festival Logo
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
  • Sept 12-17, 2017

Detroit Under STRESS

Documentary Feature, United States, 2017, 85 min, Color

About the Film

In 1971, the Detroit Police Department begins operating one of the most controversial decoy police units ever created to battle street crime, S.T.R.E.S.S. (Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets). After one year, Detroit becomes the city with the highest police-civilian fatal shootings as well as the city with the highest police officer deaths.

For the first time in almost 50 years, hear this incredible story from the STRESS officers who were there doing the decoy work as well as the community leaders and activists who were trying to disband the unit.

Great Lakes connection:

This is the untold story of a Detroit police decoy unit in 1971 called S.T.R.E.S.S. After 26 fatal shootings, this decoy unit became the platform for the first black Mayor of Detroit, Coleman Young.

Cast & Crew:

Director: David Van Wie
Writer(s): David Van Wie
Producer(s): David Van Wie, Gardner Cole, Ritta Yee-Fagain
Key Cast: C. Thomas Howell
Editors: Brandon Barnard, Luu Nguyen

Director Bio:

David scripted and directed 5 commercials for Big Brothers Big Sisters, scripted and directed a music video for executive producer Gardner Cole, completed a pilot and first episode for a reality TV show in Phoenix, as well as produced two commercials for Catholic Charities.

Detroit Under STRESS has been a three-year project and is David's first full documentary film. Just for fun, David has also published a multi award winning children's book, "Buttermilk" under his pen name Fat Hendrick.

Director Statement:

Detroit Under STRESS is a film to further the discussion about police, communities, and crime. There is no easy answer, and all solutions have consequences; it is up to the people to decide what consequences they can live with and what consequences are necessary.


Arizona Sunburn Film Festival
Tucson, United States
July 28, 2017
Official Selection

Buy Tickets



Sunday, September 17, 8:30pm
Soo Theatre

Not rated (see trailer)
Documentary Feature
85 min
Country of Origin: United States

Check out the trailer

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