‘Chicago PD’: These Episodes Didn’t Stand the Test of Time

by Megan Molseed

When creating a show based on the challenges Chicago police officers face while on the job, there’s little doubt that some episodes will certainly include some references to current events. And sometimes, as some Chicago PD fans point out, this can become quite controversial. One example of this happening on the popular NBC police procedural is the introduction of “corrupt cop” storylines. A topic that Reddit fans discussed in a recent thread on the popular website.

According to one Reddit user, the series runs into issues when not all of the Chicago PD officers are not always to be trusted.

“Worst of all is the fact that the top cops on the show are corrupt, evil people every bit as bad as the criminals they takedown,” the Reddit user says of the Chicago PD players. In the comment, the user singles out one character in particular…Jason Beghe’s Hank Voight.

“Hank Voight is a monster on the show,” the Chicago PD viewer notes. The Redditor adds that among the Chicago PD officer’s questionable actions is his tendency to use extreme force when facing criminal suspects.

“He literally has a cage that he calls ‘the cage,'” the fan explains.

“Where he orders suspects (and others) to be taken so they can be beaten, tortured,” the Redditor adds. “And threatened with death while he pumps them for confessions or information.”

‘Chicago PD’ Highlights Real Life Controversies

Indeed, Beghe’s Hank Voight has long walked the line of what is appropriate and what isn’t. He often takes on a “dirty cop” personality, that Chicago PD fans aren’t there for. Especially after the officer covered up a deadly shooting committed by one of his officers in last season’s finale. This storyline isn’t aging well in today’s climate. Especially as stories of shooting coverups in real life seem to be dominating our news stories these days.

Another topic that hasn’t seemed to age well on Chicago PD is their attempt to address the Black Lives Matter movement. In the law enforcement’s fifth season, LaRoyce Hawkins’s character Kevin Atwater witnesses the murder of an unarmed man by a racist officer. Dedicated to his profession, Atwater – a black police officer – faces a dilemma. The dilemma? Whether he should address the issue and take down a fellow officer, or keep quiet about the questionable actions.

“I remember talking with [writer Ike Smith] and him saying that he wanted it to feel like more than a police brutality story that happened to a black man by a white racist,” LaRoyce Hawkins tells TV Guide about the dilemma his character faced in this Chicago PD installment.

“He wanted it to really envelop all of the vibes and vices that create this conundrum in the city of Chicago,” the actor adds.

According to The List, this storyline did not age well as the series focused on “all sides” of the issue. However, at the time of the airing, the Black Lives Matter movement was gaining momentum. So, the topical episode seemed to barely scratch the surface of the real-life issues.