Chicago P.D. has its work cut out for it tonight.
The NBC police procedural is dealing with a case in which a college student is shot by a police officer, and a video fo the incident then goes viral. This puts the squad in multiple difficult and complicated positions, and E! News has an exclusive sneak peek of one of those aforementioned positions.
In the clip above, Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) and Ruzek (Patrick Flueger) are sent to arrest the officer for murder, and on the way, they encounter new patrol officer Cooper (Cleveland Berto) who witnessed the shooting. He's understandably shaken, and just wants to understand why his fellow officer pulled the trigger.
"I was right there next to him. Rode with that dude a month," Cooper says. "I just need to know why."
Atwater gives him the upsetting truth before sending him home: "You know why."
Hawkins shed some light on his hopes for the episode to E! News.
"We are very proud to tell this story about reimagining policing moving forward and to bring some understanding to the topic," he says. "Every time we tell this story on Chicago P.D. we dig a little deeper and it's more and more visceral. This episode is about authenticity and truth and hopefully translates to our audience in a way that helps everyone 'unlearn' some things."
The episode is also the final one to be directed by series executive producer and director Eriq La Salle, and Hawkins says the show "wanted to deliver an important 'swan song' for Eriq that would resonate for a long time."
La Salle also offered his thoughts on the episode.
"This episode addresses something very topical, happening right now—what does it mean to be a cop today, in 2020, 2021 and in particular, an African American cop?" he shares. "I hope this episode allows people to talk. That is the point of art, getting people to talk and have different opinions. I hope it accomplishes that."
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)