The Thacker Case, The Coverup tells of the fight for justice against those guilty of covering up what actually happened a fateful night when a man was found to be murdered in an alley behind the Marshalltown police station, when he was brought in for what would seem like a standard protocol to a DUI case. Kevin Thacker (Michael Welch) was a repeat drink driver picked up by police officer who together with an investigator had claimed to have fallen from a six storey building in an attempt to escape, and of course there are more than meets the eye to this case.
The Coverup chronicles the fight that lawyer Stu Pepper (Garbeil Mann), who also served as Executive Producer and provided the story, written by Robert Dean Klein and director Brian Jun, had undergone, as engaged by Kevin's parents Thomas and Beverly (John Savage and Lee Garlington) to seek the truth and sue the Marshalltown police on 15 counts, only for 14 to be thrown out the window before the trial started. It's an uphill climb from the get go with suspicions of cover up, evidence tamper, conflict of interests, and a fight against incredible odds especially when one goes up against those in power, who have within them the ability to make one's life miserable.
Stu's track record at the time wasn't impressive, and coming out from another losing suit against a cop, he has to guard against making a career out of being labelled as anti-police, and of course to handle a case that would obviously put a strain on his family life. But he serves as the moral compass for the story, in reminding ourselves that we have within our powers to always do the right thing and to speak up for those who can't, and we must. Gabriel Mann portrays Stu with fair gumption, and together with Eliza Dushku as his paralegal Monica Wright, we get put through the usual series of questions, fact gathering and of course, the courtroom saga that come as standard offerings in any legal thriller-drama.
Some may claim that this film seemed to be one sided because the defendants don't really get to feature much in the entire proceedings, but I suppose if you look at the facts of the case, there's little wonder what else could that have contributed to the film, unless you believe a man can fall 24 feet and land directly on his back with the only injury being the side of his head. It's what I would deem as an almost open and shut case with the arguments presented logically, but the real whammy comes from there being no investigations into the wrong doing of the police officers involved in the situation as a follow up to this case. As such, this film now speaks out against this, and has become somewhat of an activist effort to spread awareness, and for the right thing to be done.
It is a modest film with the obvious limited funds of an independent production, but tremendous efforts had been put into the film to make it look more than it's financed for. All members of the cast put in credible performances in their roles to tell this compelling, gripping tale that will likely cause you to seethe in anger and probably disappointment too, but a well made one nonetheless. You can find more details of the actual case here which is full of relevant facts and associated supporting documents, and of course for those who are on Comcast, The Coverup should already be available for Video on Demand viewing. Don't miss this!