Chicago Justice, episode three

Peter and Anna are at the courthouse speaking with the parents of a victim. The defendant approaches to express his condolences. They are not interested. The father says that it happened because his son “looked different.” In court, Voight is on the stand. He talks about finding the body and what led them to the defendant. There was a prior altercation and they found a bloody sweatshirt. The defendant’s buddies chuckle about Voight’s testimony and the victim’s father jumps up and yells at them. He tries to fight them.

Anna gets back to the office and briefs Nagel and Antonio on the case. The victim and defendant were college students. They head to the frat house. Some of the frat brothers have some not nice things to say about Muslims. They investigate the defendant’s room and find a Koran from a girl named Addy.

They track down Addy and she is a Muslim. She runs an outreach program to help educate and bring unity. She also has an alibi for Byron, the defendant. He was with her, all night. She doesn’t want to come forward with this though because no one would understand. She has a sex tape made the night of the murder as proof she’s telling the truth.

Peter talks to Anna about the alibi. There is still a time gap. Peter wants it accounted for. Antonio and Nagel are back at it. They find the victim’s old roommate. He says they were great friends. He stopped the first fight between Byron and the victim but wasn’t in any of the reports because he didn’t want to make enemies.

Antonio doesn’t buy it. They start looking into the roommate, Jafar. His ex says he made comments about beating the victim up for stealing his research. She didn’t come forward because she didn’t want to be labeled islamophobic. They check security footage of Jafar the night of the murder. He was out as the time of the murder and came back in different clothes.

It’s not enough though. They need to find the victims phone. They use the Find my Phone app and track it down in a sewer. Herrmann helps them fish it out. They start canvasing the neighborhood for witnesses. Anna finds one. She describes the fight, and Jafar’s clothes. Then identifies Jafar from a photo. Antonio and Nagel go to arrest him but he runs. Nagel finally tackles him.

Anna and Peter talk to Mark about the case. Mark thinks the jury will react in the same way that Twitter has. Peter points out that it is an easier case with Jafar as defendant. Anna calls them both racist and leaves.

Jury selection begins. The deck is stacked with what Peter calls “patriots.” The opposing lawyer talks to Peter and Anna at lunch. He would prefer to settle but everyone is innocent. He tells Peter to “be gentle.” As testimony begins, opposing counsel is crude but gets the job done. The attractive articulate witness is called to the stand. And she is in a hijab. They argue about her right to wear that.

Peter gets her to tell her story and then the other lawyer is vaguely racist and says she is blind. Peter redirects. She is not blind. Anna congratulates Peter but he’s mad. He was flying blind. He gets a call. Jafar will be going on the stand.

He testifies that the victim was a terrorist. He had videos on his phone. They play them in court. Jafar says the victim tried to recruit him but he said no. Then he says that the victim was buying cell phones and wires and things like that so he killed him to stop him. He says that he is a hero. The police wouldn’t have done anything because they don’t want to be labelled bigots.

Mark and Peter talk about the video. Peter can’t believe it. He says that freedom is what makes it possible for enemies to attack.

Jafar is still on the stand. Peter is ripping into him. He’s really trying to get under his skin and it seems like it’s working. Later Peter is writing his closing argument and Anna needles him about the “jury of patriots.” Opposing counsel admits Jafar did it. But he did it to save innocent lives. Peter tells the jury that they were picked for specific reasons. They are great Americans and they should do so in this case. Act with your head, not your heart.
The verdict comes back. Guilty. Later Peter and the opposing counsel talk at a bar. People are naturally racist. We bend over backward to avoid it.

I like this show because even though you know that the good guys will win, it takes you on an interesting journey. I like Anna but I’m still not sold on Nagel. She’s not funny and they are pushing that hard.

Chicago Justice is new Sundays at 9 p.m.

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