Previously on Shots Fired, “Hour Nine: Come to Jesus”
With Breeland dead, the sheriff’s department is cracking down on the Black neighborhood in Gates Station. They’re harassing the residents because they believe one of them killed Breeland. Despite his death, Preston is pushing forward with Beck’s case. Beck is going through a grand jury hearing, which his attorney assures him should go well because no officer is indicted once he says he fears for his life.
Preston thinks his case is tanking after the full video of Beck talking about “killing crackers” is released. The full video shows him to be a humble man, excited to start his job and make his community proud. This coupled with Preston’s witness being arrested by the sheriff’s department means Preston’s case is going down in flames. As Preston makes his impassioned closing argument to the grand jury, we finally get to see what happened between Jesse and Beck. The truth is that Beck did exactly what he was trained to do, shoot first and ask questions later.
No Justice, No Peace
Beck is indicted, but like his wife says, he’s a good man. What’s always intriguing about these cases is that it is hard to believe that every cop is a racist or that every White cop wants to shoot Black people, but that doesn’t mean that the system that trains all of us to see Black as criminal and White as unimpeachable isn’t perpetuated by the people within it. Beck should have been indicted for what he did, but as we see Arlen Cox, a rich, White man with even less training and even less reason to be patrolling the streets, isn’t indicted.
And the differences between Joey and Jesse’s deaths is stark. While Beck and Jesse got into a scuffle and Jesse was shot in the moment, Joey was being held down by two officers while Arlen Cox shot him because he kicked out while being held down. That’s what Joey’s life amounted to.
Preston is understandably upset by the lack of indictment and continues to consider Sheriff Platt, who it turns out killed Breeland, to keep the cover-up going. Luckily, Breeland also had a storage unit full of evidence, including a tape of Platt incriminating himself. The episode ends with Shameeka Campbell and Alicia Carr supporting Pastor Janae’s organization efforts along with Sara, Gov. Eamon’s former aide, and Deputy Brooks, Beck’s former partner. And Preston and Ashe have one last dance before heading back to their lives. Fittingly, the final shot is Jesse Carr bumping into Joey Campbell as he tours a college on the day he died.
Although Shots Fired ended much like I feared, with the Black cop being indicted while the white guys are largely unpunished, the ending was still satisfying. The truth of the situation is that this is what justice looks like in America and Shots Fired showed it. The rays of hope are people like Preston, and even Ashe with all her neuroses and anger. The only real downside of the episode was Shameeka Campbell’s call to action. It’s not that it wasn’t realistic or appreciated, but just once, it would be refreshing to see a grieving mother depicted as righteously angry. If someone had yelled burn this shit down and Shameeka responded, hell yeah, it would have been glorious.
Shots Fired S1E10
"Hour Ten: Last Dance"
Shots Fired – S1E10 – “Hour Ten: Last Dance” | Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Stephen Moyer, Tristan Mack Wilds, Jill Hennessey, Helen Hunt, Aisha Hinds, DeWanda Wise