This episode brings in an all too familiar dramatized headline from the early 1980's, a time when the crime rate in NYC was at an all-time high, as were the tensions between the white powers that were and people of color living in the city. The finale to this episode is explosive and heartbreaking, as so many of those days were back then.
Here's a short scene from "SHOOTING STARS":
EXT. STREET IN HARLEM - NIGHT
OFFICER OTHA PRESCOTT, our proud rookie cop and center fielder, and 2 older WHITE COPS are hiding in the shadows, watching a middle-aged BLACK MAN about to enter a tenement building, looking around anxiously.
That’s him. That’s definitely him.
Yeah. Let’s take him.
I-I can’t see his face. You sure that’s him? How can you tell?
Experience, rookie. Stay with us and be ready.
They move on the man.
FREEZE! POLICE! TURN AROUND!
The man turns around, one hand fumbling in his pocket. He pulls something out.
HE’S GOT A GUN!
Suddenly, the cops begin firing, including the frightened Otha. A hail of bullets topple the man over. The cops rush over, guns pointed.
Where’s the gun? Find the gun!
COP TWO opens the man’s hand to find a key case. He looks frantically around, searching the ground and then the man.
I can’t find it!
You said he had a gun!
He did. He did! I saw it.
COP ONE takes the key case and looks at his two partners.
(wide-eyed and shaking)
H-he’s...dead. W-we killed him.
We see the riddled body of the dead man, his blood spreading out on the stoop beneath him.
Hey. HEY! KID! Take it easy. Believe me, this guy’ll turn out to be a criminal, one way or another. It happens. We’ll make the report. We’ll tell you what to say. Be cool.
Otha is in shock.