From just the commercial released about Shots Fired, a new television show on foxF it was clear that this new series would be very controversial. This show allows those of us who are actively against police brutality to question our values: would we feel the same way if a black cop shot a white man? Hopefully, like me, your answer would still be yes.
Its description says that it is based around ‘two racially charged shootings’. I, as many others probably did, assumed that it would deal with white police officers and black citizens. However, the series takes a plot twist in the first five minutes of the first episode, as we see the aftermath of a black cop, Mack, having just shot a white teenager.
Later in the episode it is revealed that the reason that Mack had pulled the young man over was because “a white man in the neighborhood mean drugs,”. It is revealed that later on that the man had tried to grab the Mack’s gun, and continued to struggle after he had been shot, resulting in Mack shooting him 4 total times. Even if you are not quite on board with the Black Lives Matter Movement (the main focus of theirs is police brutality), you can still see the overall idea of how harmful profiling can be.
Further on, viewers see that there is another teenager, completely unrelated to Mack’s situation, who was shot and killed by an officer. Although this time the roles are reversed. This event is much more covered up. Cops show up to the young man’s mother’s house and tell her that her son was found dead. They search the house, where they find drugs. They then tell the mother that if she makes a fuss, they could charge her and take her other son away from her. She doesn’t say anything until the people investigating Mack visit her.
The show also focuses on the black police officer, as he is facing investigation. He has the full backing of the department, who tell him to keep saying that he “feared for his life”. This show also shows how the social media, and what you put on it can come back to haunt you in the future. Many believe he had reasonable cause, until a video is released where he makes a statement after graduating his police academy that now he can legally “shoot these white people”. Mack defends it by saying he was drunk and not in the right state of mind at that time.
The audience also gets to see the side of people who use instances like these to advance themselves. A local pastor at a church invited news crews to video tape her service, in which she brought out the mothers from both shootings. However, she made it seem more like it was all about her, and she was the one uniting the people.
Although only the pilot episode has been released so far, this series is expected to gain popularity, and continue to challenge the American public’s ideas, beliefs, and values, in both positive and negative ways. Do you still believe the ways you do if the races were reversed? Watch Shots fired on Fox to challenge your standpoints.