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Video Captures The Life Of A South L.A. Homicide Detective

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Los Angeles-based filmmaker Joris Debeij's "I Am Los Angeles" series of short documentaries has given life to many different aspects that create the L.A. mosaic. His most haunting, however, is his portrait of Sal LaBarbera, an LAPD Homicide Detective based in South L.A. who has to deal with the multitude of murders that happen in his area.

In "One-Eight-Seven," Debeij portrays LaBarbera as a man who deals with the personal aspects of each murder, putting his soul into each case and trying to balance his own personal life with the lives impacted by his job. His interactions with the murderers themselves are also highlighted in the film.

"You develop an odd strange relationship with the person on the other side of this desk who committed the murder," LaBarbera says.

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Debeij writes:

There's no question that murder is a senseless, incomprehensible act of violence, and one of the ugliest of crimes committed by humankind. To be impacted by such an event is utterly shocking and tragic, and for those who've experienced this loss, a full emotional recovery will always be out of reach. Few will understand this as intimately as a homicide detective. In their service to the community, they drift in and out of circles of grief and loss created by a victim's death. Nonetheless, they must also find their way back to their own lives and families each day.

LaBarbara also has a strong Twitter presence, updating his thousands of followers on the ups and down of his life and his job under the handle @LAMurderCop

Related:
A Day In The Life Of A Homicide Detective in South Los Angeles