Dick Wolf says his Chicago trilogy “absolutely” will examine recent cop controversies in the Windy City.
“We steal the headlines, not the body copy,” he cautioned reporters attending TCA this afternoon. “Will there be examination of police shootings under a variety of circumstances? Absolutely,” the producer said.
“We do not steer away from anything. But I am not a mouthpiece for the Chicago P.D. or any police department,” he insisted.
But, he expressed support for cops. “In this environment, if you put yourself behind the wheel of a patrol car in what is acknowledged to be gang territory, or disputed territory, or a high-crime-rate district, and if you are a cop – whether you’re Chinese, Hispanic, black, white – you’re out on those streets you don’t know whether you’re coming home that night… It’s a very, very dangerous job, and mistakes are going to get made. But I defy anybody to think that, in rollouts across this country, there are cops, making almost all of them less than they could make in other professions, who sit there and say, ‘You know, I think I’m going to go out and shoot an unarmed teenager tonight’.”
“Has that happened? To a disturbing rate, yes,” Wolf continued, adding, “police departments have to be answerable to civilians on some level. I always thought that.” Luckily, that is happening at a level far above our concerns” on the various TV series, he concluded.
He defended setting his latest franchise in Chicago, calling it “the heart of America. The values in these three shows I’m kind of unabashedly old fashioned about. They’re heroes.” he said. “You can’t pay people to run into burning buildings. Doctors are not in it for the money any more either.”
“I don’t think any way you can over-use a city that exemplifies the best, and at times the worst, of America. It’s an incredible canvas.”
Last month, the Justice Department opened a civil-rights investigation into Chicago police practices, and Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut short his family trip to Cuba “so he can continue the ongoing work of restoring accountability and trust in the Chicago Police Department,” his office said in a statement. At the start of December, Emanuel fired his police chief in reaction to protests over police shooting.