Wednesday night’s episode of Fox’s race drama, Shots Fired, “Hour 4: Truth,” revealed some key pieces of evidence behind the death of unarmed black teen Joey Campbell: a racist white sheriff, a racist white lieutenant, and a racist, mostly white police department.
Predictably, as it becomes more and more clear that the shooting death of white unarmed teenager Jesse Carr at the hands of black Deputy Beck (Tristan Wilds) was justified, DOJ Special Prosecutor Preston Terry (Stephan James) and Investigator Ashe Akino (Sanaa Lathan) have learned the truth behind the racially motivated murder and cover-up of black teen Joey Campbell at the hands of Gate Station’s corrupt and racist sheriff’s department. Apparently, a white officer shot the unarmed black teen as he laid on the ground crying for his mom.
Akino: Tell him what you told me.
Cory: I was riding home on my bike after playing video games at my boy's house. I was going fast 'cause it was 10:00 and I told my parents I'd be home by 9:00. Then, out of nowhere, this car rolled up across the street, chasing down Joey. It was one of them police sedans, I think. They had him trapped against a wall and then two cops hopped out and threw him to the ground. He was laying there screaming, "Someone call my moms! Someone call my moms!" Over and over. I mean, at first, he sounded angry, but by the end he sounded like he was crying.
Terry: Then what happened?
Cory: An older white man in, like, black military gear got out of the car with the handcuffs. Joey was still screaming out for his moms and wouldn't let them cuff him. Then the old man shot him. Everything went quiet.
Terry: What happened after that?
Cory: I don't know. I got out of there as fast as I could.
Terry: Did they see you?
Cory: I didn't think so. But they tried to run me over a couple weeks after that, either 'cause they knew what I seen or either 'cause they seen me talking to you.
Cory’s friend: We've been hiding him out because we didn't know what else to do. In Gate Station, you don't go to the cops to snitch on the cops.
Terry: Did you at least get a good look at them?
Cory: Not the cops. Just the old man.
Akino: If you saw this man again, would you recognize him?
While Investigator Akino and Prosecutor Terry continue their investigation, having noted that “this isn't about Jesse and Joey anymore. This is about the entire sheriff's department,” they meet much opposition from the white members of the police force.
First, the two must deal with the distrustful and corrupt Sheriff Platt (Will Patton), doing everything he can to make the investigation more difficult. Investigator Akino and Prosecutor Terry then become suspicious of white Lieutenant Breeland (Stephen Moyer), first on the scene of both teens’ deaths. They learn of multiple complaints against him, including one from an elderly black woman who claims that Breeland pulled her and her husband over every Sunday coming home from Church, then threw her husband in jail without cause, leading to his untimely death.
Because Fox is trying to shoehorn every liberal cause they can into the show, a side plot involves the merging of a predominantly white school in a nice neighborhood with a predominantly black school in a poor, unsafe neighborhood. While the governor makes the announcement at a town hall meeting, she faces much opposition from supposedly racist white parents refusing to allow for the assimilation.
When the assimilation finally occurs, a wonderful scene plays out where, surprise, none of the students actually care about the color of anyone’s skin. Probably because they didn’t grow up watching shows like Shots Fired which fan the flames of racial tension and imply everyone’s a racist.