"How long did Officer Jablonski take to look at Brenton Butler? How many seconds: One second, two seconds, three seconds, four seconds, five seconds, six seconds?"
This show resonates with me on very extreme levels. When something inspires me, I write. It's just how I've always been. The show takes place in Jersey City right in between New Jersey and New York. "Pilot" Episode 1 introduces our crime scene as well as an accident. Officer Jablonski was on his phone, not paying attention, driving and concerned about his pregnant wife. Just for a moment, not concerned, he looked away from windshield. In that moment, everything changed. We all knew, he had hit something. When Officer Jablonski realizes that he hit a child, everything changed. Despite race, religious background, and even gender. A grown man hit a child while not paying attention, and to make matters worse - he was a police officer.
Now I can only wonder what most people could be thinking. This is a typical, racially biased agenda made by authors and producers to create a reaction out of the public. But is it? Or can we as people really take a second look at the bigger picture. Officer Jablonski called his fellow commanding officer Michael Di'Angelo, and two other presiding officers from the Anti-Gang and Narcotics Unit to guide his judgment after what transpired. What all of these police officers failed to do, was inherently their duty as officers. They left Brenton Butler to die in a ditch for 12 hours, riving in pain.
K.J. Harper the prosecutor representing the state for Brenton Butler in this murder investigation has a difficult time proving herself, not only as an attorney, but also as a young black woman. She speaks of her father throughout the show "opening doors to opportunities, she necessarily wouldn't have been given if she hadn't gone by the nickname K.J." It was given to her by her dad. She stuck with it to cross those barriers as a young woman who is an attorney of the law. K.J. is like many of us, unconcerned with our harsh realities until it really matters. Throughout the show, we see her dependence on alcohol and how it manages to take control over her when she believes she has failed. However, Detective Fish who later becomes a friend to K.J. reminds her of how important this work is. Do we just stand by and let nature take its course? Without even putting up a fighting chance? Detective Fish in the beginning is skeptical of Brenton because of the bike he was riding when he crashed. The bike was known to be related to a gang in Jersey City, known as the Five Kings. Fish didn't have a right to be concerned about Brenton's affiliation to any gangs, but it's a natural instinct of an officer to be protective of another officer. That is until, Detective Fish really uncovers what these people are like and how they operate. They only cared about keeping their names clear of any crimes, because at the end of the day it came down to the word of an officer versus a dead black kid. Unfortunately.
We see how death changes people. Mrs. Butler and Mr. Butler fight over their son and their love for him. There are many scenes where we see how the anger, frustration, anxiety, and depression over a lost loved one, but more importantly, a son - it eventually changes the dynamic of their relationship completely. Not only as parents, but also a couple. Mrs. Butler leaves, hoping to find answers. She reminds me of my mother, in the way her natural instinct to be a mother is her first and foremost concern. How could it not be though? She says, "what if it was your son? I just want to know how Brenton must've felt in those last seconds. I need to know." A mother's only wish. Her sight becomes clouded with ideas of her son, and how he must've felt in those last minutes, those last seconds. She is tested on more than one occasion, but I believe that her faith is what will get her through. In the last episode of the season, she begins to pray and then pauses. "How could you let this happen to an innocent child. I need you to show me something. Show me that you were there with him."
"You've either got two choices: you crawl back in that bottle and die, or you get up off your ass and do your job.
We broke a lot of promises - pretty fucking epic ones.
We don't get to quit."
Detective Fish reminds K.J. Harper of the evidence already presented, but not thoroughly investigated. It is exactly what made the difference in this case. K.J. Harper's closing statement to the grand jury demonstrates how valuable our words are to another. That maybe even if the truth does not serve justice, at least we know that it made the difference. "This country has a problem...Speak their names." We should not be afraid to speak out about what is right. If Martin Luther King Jr, Thurgood Marshall, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas and so many others did not fight till the death to break these molds for us to live equally and freely, we would not be able to live as we are. Equality is achievable, but it must be something we can all see in a future - a future for our children. They deserve that. A future without hate and malice, but with love and hope. It might be optimistic, but that's the truth.