In the wake of the recent shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers, a new 10-hour event series seeks to take a look at this explosive phenomenon. Shots Fired examines the aftermath of two racially charged shootings in a small Southern town. The series created and executive-produced by husband and wife team, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood does not seek to condemn but to spark conversation and change.
When black Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Beck, played by Mack Wilds, shoots and kills an unarmed white college student, the act sets off a change of events that leads to an inquiry of the shooting and the discovery of a neglected murder of an African American teen. Heading the inquiry is seasoned investigator Ashe Akino (Sanaa Lathan) along with a young Department of Justice Special Prosecutor Preston Terry (Stephan James).
Shots Fired reels you immediately into the drama within the first hour as the lead investigators start to examine the two shootings while navigating their own personal issues. Akino is dealing with anger issues and the fear of losing custody of her daughter while Terry is fighting to make a name for himself while being overshadowed by his successful professional football brother. Combining these factors with the less than tepid cooperation from the townsfolk and the police and you have the makings of a griping mystery.
What makes this series so poignant is that Shots Fired attempts to show the racially charged shootings from every aspect using characters that are not cut and dry. These characters are not stereotypically all good or evil but somewhere in between. It is this element that makes the story that much more compelling.
Be on the look out for stellar performances from Jill Hennessy and DeWanda Wise who play the mothers of the slain boys. Also in the cast is Academy-. Emmy- and Golden Globe – winning actress Helen Hunt as the North Carolina Governor and Academy- and Golden Globe winner Richard Dreyfuss as a real estate mogul and owner of a privatized prison.