‘Chicago P.D.’: LaRoyce Hawkins Takes Pride in Representing Black Policing on the Show

by Megan Molseed

LaRoyce Hawkins has been portraying Chicago P.D. police officer Kevin Atwater since the premiere season of the popular NBC drama. During his time with the Chicago P.D., Kevin Atwater has addressed multiple intense cases, many of which tend to weigh on the officer both personally and professionally.

A sensitive character, Kevin Atwater also represents black policing in the popular law enforcement series. He is the sole black character on the Chicago P.D. team, making the role all that much more important when it comes to how Atwater is represented within the One Chicago universe. This, Hawkins says, is a responsibility in which he takes great pride. Hawkins works hard making sure he represents a character such as Atwater in the best manner possible; diligently working to be very specific in how he portrays the Chicago P.D. officer.

“I feel a very similar responsibility that the late and the great Sidney Poitier felt being a Black actor in the ‘60s, trying to put the Black male lead in the position of power,” LaRoyce Hawkins tells Parade magazine of his representation of black policing on Chicago P.D.

“That’s the responsibility I take very specifically,” the actor adds.

LaRoyce Hakins Sees the Importance of His ‘Chicago P.D.’ Role

The Chicago P.D. star goes on to say that he feels somewhat responsible for how black policing is represented in this genre of “filmmaking.” His goal, Hawkins says, is to tell genuine stories, while keeping a positive note where he can.

“In this niche genre of filmmaking,” LaRoyce Hawkins explains.

“I find myself responsible for at least that small part,” the Chicago P.D. star continues.

His goal while portraying the Chicago P.D. officer, Hawkins says, is to tell genuine stories. While also keeping a positive note where he can.

“I think that a little light goes a long way,” the actor explains. “So, whatever I can do to tell authentic stories and to throw a little light around, that’s what I’m here for.”

During the most recent season of Chicago P.D., Kevin Atwater has found himself to be in quite the complicated situation. Early into the current season of the popular NBC series, the Chicago P.D. officer became involved with a teacher named Celeste who is portrayed by Amanda Payton.

However, the Chicago P.D. officer has chosen to begin the relationship on a dishonest note by not being honest about his profession after he learns that Celeste holds hostility towards law enforcement officers. The situation becomes much more complicated when Atwater is one of the responding officers to a situation involving some of Celeste’s students. Despite his involvement in the case, Atwater continues to keep his profession a secret from his new love interest.