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The Shooting on Mole Street

The Shooting on Mole Street

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On March 1, 1996, 15-year-old Shafeeq Murrel was killed on the street in South Philadelphia — innocently caught in the crossfire between rival pairs of crack dealers out for revenge. Shafeeq’s murder was one of 435 in Philadelphia that year, and it was soon shelved as a cold case. Then, detectives David Baker and Julie Hill took it on— two middle-aged white cops working a Black neighborhood in their battered Plymouth Gran Fury.

Filmed like a taut police procedural, THE SHOOTING ON MOLE STREET chronicles the investigation, as Baker and Hill knock on doors, shake down dealers, and beg, threaten and cajole residents in an effort to get someone — anyone — to talk. Baker rejects any accusation of police racism in the unsolved murders of young Black men. Isn’t he out here trying to close the case? But racism is more complicated than intent.

Part of Mosco Boucault’s “Police Investigations” series, THE SHOOTING ON MOLE STREET is a gripping documentary that follows Hill and Baker verité style, while capturing the complex dynamics of a community where selling drugs is seen as the only option for many young men.

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