A cop pulls over a white college student who was looking for fried chicken in the wrong side of town. In the exchange, shots are fired, but we are not shown who the shooter is. Deputy Beck is the most likely culprit and he happens to be the only black cop in the Gate Station Sheriff’s Department in NC. To avoid racial bias the DOJ sends newly minted Special Prosecutor Preston Terry (Stephan James) to investigate alongside investigator Ashe Akino (Sanaa Lathan) both Black agents. The case hits Ashe close to home because she is an ex cop who has been in Beck’s shoes: She was acquitted of gunning down an unarmed young suspect earlier in her career.
Akino’s personal life and grit intertwine with the cases in a way that makes her central to the on-screen developments. A strong and hard woman, she won’t rest until the answers are revealed and the truth is served. “Justice is a racist bitch”, she claims, and boy is she right!
With a stellar cast of characters, the plot thickens to the point you start believing that there is no way to close this case without additional shots being fired. The tension in the town is so high you can sense it in each move the police and citizens make to help shape the investigation. Recurring appearances by Helen Hunt as the State’s Governor Eamons, who orders the investigation, and Richard Dreyfus as Cox, the owner of a series of private correction facilities, add gravitas to an already serious and engaging drama.
The series takes a hard look at the dynamics between the police and how they treat black citizens. It uses Ferguson and other examples to explain how people in these impoverished and forgotten communities come together to fight injustice. The screenplay emphasizes the role of faith and unity that spearhead the civil unrest events that occur after justice is not served. We are shown first hand the hopelessness that the people feet when one of their own is gunned down with excessive force or no reason, regardless of race or gender; the grief the parents face when they learn their child was caught up in the middle of a greater conspiracy.
This 10 part series is not to be missed especially for those looking to understand the subject of Black Lives Matter. Fox outdid themselves with this well-rounded and poignant drama. Watch On Demand or through the Fox app.