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Boston police coverup tale coming to a theater near you

Dennis Lehane teamed with George Pelecanos to write the screenplay for a movie based on Dick Lehr’s book “The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide.”
DAVID L RYAN/GLOBE STAFF/file
Dennis Lehane teamed with George Pelecanos to write the screenplay for a movie based on Dick Lehr’s book “The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide.”

There’s progress to report on the movie being made about the troubling case of Michael Cox, the Boston police officer who in 1995 was severely beaten by fellow officers while working in plain clothes.

According to Deadline.com, the movie, based on former Globe reporter Dick Lehr’s book “The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide,” will be directed by Peter Nicks, who won the Sundance directing prize for “The Force,” a documentary exploring the interconnected narratives of health care, criminal justice, and education in Oakland, Calif.

Lehr’s book tells the story of Cox’s brutal beating at the hands of fellow officers who mistakenly believed he was a black gang member. The officers’ misdeed was then covered up, hidden behind the “blue wall of silence.” (Lehr also coauthored, with Gerry O’Neill, the Whitey Bulger book “Black Mass: The Irish Mob, the Boston FBI, and a Devil’s Deal.”)

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The Cox story is one worth telling, and producers have enlisted a couple of pros to tell it. George Pelecanos, one of the principal writers of HBO’s “The Wire” and “Treme,” handled the screenwriting duties along with “Mystic River” writer Dennis Lehane, who knows a thing or two about Boston.