Police and race has been a hot topic in light of the civil unrest in Ferguson over the killing of a black teenager by a white policeman. Award-winning documetarian R.J. Cutler (The War Room, American High) is touching on the subject from a different angle with a police drama at CBS. Cutler will direct and executive produce the project, which marks his first sale under the first-look deal at CBS TV Studios he signed in the spring.

Written by Joe Robert Cole, the drama centers on a black Republican L.A. homicide detective who has long denied race has any bearing on him or the lives of others. He then gets a long overdue promotion to lead a high profile, racially charged murder investigation precisely because he’s black. Cutler executive produces with David Brownfield and Circle of Confusion’s Ken Freimann and David Alpert.

Cutler, repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment and HJTHN, exec produces ABC’s drama Nashville. His feature directorial debut, the Chloe Grace Moretz-starrer If I Stay, has grossed $50.2 million domestically since its August debut.