“I am Rebel” is a documentary series about unfamiliar yet game changing characters who prove that change only happens when you break the rules. The series premiere is titled “Jacked.” In response to racially motivated police brutality, three Detroit men hijack a plane in 1972. Their botched mission leads to sweeping reforms.
After experiencing police brutality in Detroit, Louis Moore unsuccessfully sued the police department. He and his friend, Henry Jackson, began protesting police tactics and the mayor. In response, the police threatened to harm Moore's family if he didn't leave town. As they were heading for Chicago, they heard a news report on the radio about an airplane hijacking. They decided the best course of action to bring light to their situation was to hijack an airplane.
From roughly 1961 to 1972 there were 159 hijackings in American airspace. Radical protesters used the tactic as a way to draw attention to various social and political issues including feminism, racial injustice, and the unpopular war in Vietnam. On November 11, 1972, Louis Moore, Henry Jackson, and Louis’ half-brother, Melvin Cale, hijacked Southern Airways flight 49. They demanded a phone call with President Nixon and an enormous ransom, which they shared with the passengers and crew. This hijacking directly led to new aviation security measures, including the mandatory use of metal detectors that we take for granted today.
Additional Episodes include:
I Am Rebel: Weegee the Famous
Premieres Sunday, June 12, at 9/8c
Weegee, New York’s first crime scene photographer, composes compelling works of art chronicling the city’s violence and public reaction at the height of the Prohibition-era gang wars. Largely considered the world’s first paparazzo, his sensational photography defines the era’s organized crime racket. More important, it puts pressure on law enforcement to end the bloody public spectacles and gives rise to today’s tabloid news culture.
I Am Rebel: The Love Drug
Premieres Sunday, June 19, at 9/8c
Respected pioneering chemist Alexander Shulgin invented more than 250 psychedelic drugs in his home laboratory, but arguably his biggest success is popularizing MDMA for psychotherapy uses. But when the formula escapes the laboratory and hits the streets as the club drug Ecstasy, Shulgin goes to war with the DEA to protect it. Today, MDMA remains the best medical hope for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
I Am Rebel: Phreaks and Geeks
Premieres Sunday, June 26, at 9/8c
In the early 1980s, computer hackers are seen as dark and nefarious. But what officials don’t understand is that by identifying the holes in online security, hackers help make systems safer. Prank caller and telephone system manipulator Kevin Mitnick is one of the first notorious hackers to do this. Using his hacking skills, he eludes the FBI for years. When finally caught, he teaches the government how to tighten digital security and turns hacking into a respectable career.