Network shows have finally returned and with them comes a new narrative. As seen in Chicago P.D., NBC seems ready to give into the anti-cop crowd that protested its police dramas this past summer. Up next on the chopping block is one of its longest running shows, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
The November 12 premiere “Guardians and Gladiators” gets things started in all the wrong ways with a story that perfectly parallels the Central Park dog walker story. Namely, an obnoxious white woman calls the police on an equally obnoxious black man as he records her in the park. Over the course of their encounter, the police discover the semi-conscious body of a male rape victim. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to matter to anyone as police arrest the black man in broad daylight.
Colleen: You need to leave now!
Jayvon: I have a right to be here. Okay, ma’am?
Colleen: Not near my child you don’t.
Dylan: Mommy, let’s go.
Colleen: Okay. I am calling the police.
Jayvon: Don’t do that. I’m not bothering you.
Colleen: Yes, there is a black man threatening me and my son.
Jayvon: There she goes, y’all. What? I am just working out!
Colleen: We’re Central Park in the Ramble. Please hurry.
Jayvon: This is America. 2020.
Officer 1: Let’s see what we got. Okay, folks, what’s going on?
Jayvon: Officers, nothing’s going on.
Colleen: This is him. This is the man.
Jayvon: Officers, listen, I’ve done nothing to her.
Officer 2: Yo, big guy, back it up.
Jayvon: Me? I’m not doing anything.
Dylan: Mom, I need to go get my ball.
Colleen: Dylan, stay here. He is scaring my son.
Jayvon: How? Because I’m black? Listen, officers, I’m out here minding my own business. She comes—
Officer 2: Sir, do you have your id on you?
Jayvon: I don’t have to show you anything. I know my rights.
Dylan: Mommy, mommy, come look. There’s a man.
Colleen: Dylan, get back here.
Dylan: He’s not moving.
Officer 2: Everyone stay where you are. We got a vic.
Colleen: Honey, move away from there.
Officer 2: Semi-conscious male bleeding from the head. I need a bus.
Colleen: Oh, my God, that’s why he was acting so crazy. He just attacked someone.
Jayvon: What? No, I don’t know anything about that.
Officer 1: Sir, put the phone down and put your hands behind back.
Officer 2: Hands behind your back, now!
Officer 2: Stop resisting!
Jayvon: I’m not resisting!
Officer 2: Stop resisting! Stop resisting!
Jayvon: I’m not resisting!
Sure, the SVU team still tries to find the rapist through twists and turns like they usually do, but they’re quickly bogged down by the black man suing the police for his arrest. While we obviously know our team isn’t racist, that doesn’t stop Deputy Chief Garland (Demore Barnes) from essentially accusing the NYPD of “racial bias” or Sergeant Fin (Ice-T) claiming “this country will always break your heart.”
Garland: I know you two are close, but I have to ask. Would things have played out differently if Jayvon were white?
Fin: Yeah, I mean, the woman, Colleen, she would’ve never called the police in the first place, and if she did, the precinct cop wouldn’t have cuffed him.
Garland: I concur. And when SVU got there, do you think racial bias played any part in how things were handled?
Fin: Not consciously. I’ve worked with Captain Benson for over 20 years. Her only bias is for the victim.
Garland: All right. Thank you. Sergeant… I know I’m not someone you relate to, but we have one thing in common. We’re both Black and blue. We’ve been on this job a long time. Did you know my father joined the force in the ’70s?
Fin: No, I didn’t know that.
Garland: Made Sergeant. Those days, that was about as far as they’d let us go. Those days are over. Things are changing.
Fin: Know how many times I’ve heard that? The one thing I do know is this country will always break your heart.
Garland: Ah, this time’s different. This is a true inflection point.
Fin: If you say so, Chief.
Garland: We are. I know it. I also know the old guard won’t go down without a fight. There’s gonna be a purge.
Fin: Hold up. So what are you saying?
Garland: I appreciate your loyalty, but you need to watch out for yourself.
The public opinion is even worse. The video of the event goes viral and continually interrupts the police’s search for the rapist. Not that that seems to matter to these people too much.
Another police captain interviews the SVU team to analyze the situation, but it quickly devolves into accusing the NYPD of being racist. Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) plays the part of a supportive liberal (complete with an RBG picture in her office) and basically agrees that the police are racist.
Curry: Since George Floyd, I’ve taken statement after statement from two kinds of cops: The baton swinging gladiators who take one look at me and can barely hide their disdain…
Benson: And I’m sorry that you had to experience that.
Curry: And the well-intentioned, guardian cops who never see themselves as racist, but are in denial about their complicity in the systemic racism within the NYPD… Cops like you, Captain Benson.
Benson: I’m well aware there’s racism in NYPD.
Curry: And what about your own bias?
Benson: I’m not racist.
Curry: I’m sure you’re not, explicitly. But implicitly? If you grew up in this country, it’s in you and me. I struggle every day with my own biases. For too many people, law enforcement has lost all credibility, and until every one of us takes a serious self-inventory, we can’t begin to get it back.
For the record, no one in this episode actually explains exactly what “self-inventory” really means in this case. Apparently, it includes calling your entire basis of work systematically racist and never stopping suspicious black men. At least they aren’t entertaining the “defund the police” idea.
Unfortunately, the viral video starts to affect their work directly. Once they find the rapist, he feigns abuse from the police and claims he confessed under duress to the jury. The jury then sides with the rapist, letting him go free, while his victim remains in a coma. And even then, everyone still blames the police, claiming this wouldn’t have happened if the police didn’t profile a black man.
No, this wouldn’t have happened if people didn’t assume every cop was an evil racist. More importantly, this wouldn’t have happened if networks weren’t so desperate to appeal to BLM activists that they claim the characters in a show over twenty years old are now racist. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has always been a hotbed of liberal issues, but now they’ve thrown their own premise under the bus. Considering BLM wasn’t happy with their pandering in 2015, I doubt this will change anybody’s minds. Welcome to America. 2020.
This show was sponsored by commercials from Panera Bread, Verizon, and Starbucks.