There was no justice served on Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 6.
After a weak Chicago PD Season 7 Episode 5, the series bounced back strong in an hour that tested everyone in Intelligence.
Halstead took the lead on a gruesome and heartbreaking case, and he was determined to solve it by any means necessary.
Along the way, he made a few wrong calls resulting in a pretty dire day for Chicago law enforcement.
By the end, there were no winners.
The biggest mistake Intelligence made was trusting a facial recognition software that was still in its beta stages.
The interim Mayor Crawford felt optimistic about the software and convinced Voight's team to use it to find their suspect but ultimately, it was their poor decision-making that created this mess.
Kareem: You want me to tell you what was up in that stash house? What was taken?
Voight: Stolen. From your criminal enterprise. Yes, that's correct.
Prophet: This is entrapment, man.
Voight: I look like I give a damn about making a drug bust?
When the software failed to work properly, there was no one to blame other than Voight because he knew better.
Who puts all of their backing behind a device that hasn't even officially launched?
Sure, the officer developing the software should have given them the rundown of the device's flaws ahead of time.
The fact that they were trying to identify a dark-skinned African American man using software that repeatedly botched identifying dark-skinned African Americans was problematic and conveniently left out.
It would have been good to know ahead of time and would have likely changed the course of the whole investigation.
But again, none of that mattered because Intelligence should have never let it get that far.
They naively followed a software while putting aside their better judgments.
They refused to use their skills to build a proper case and accepted that Marcus West was the killer at face value.
Technology fails often. It should serve as an aid, but it should never replace a case built from the ground up by detectives that are supposed to be the "best in the city."
When West denied any responsibility for the death of two nine-year-old boys, Intelligence attempted to pull a guilty confession from him at all costs by throwing him into County to break him.
I assumed Halstead would realize that West was telling the truth before it was too late.
There was a moment where the two connected and West was so shaken and scared, Halstead should have considered that maybe they nabbed the wrong guy.
There is always some evidence against a suspect that they can use to elicit a confession. The fact that there wasn't anything linking him to this murder was a red flag.
Unfortunately, Halstead was too blinded by rage, and his desire to pin this on someone got the wrong guy killed.
The initial crime was brutal; only a monster could kill two kids in cold blood.
Someone deserved to pay, but is shouldn't have been an innocent man whose only crime was that he was a junkie.
Even if Intelligence rolled with the software's intel, they should have worked the case by the book.
No one should have done anything without finding a motive, some DNA, a link to the suspects, or anything else!
Halstead: So, if you're conscience is clear, why'd you run?
West: Why'd I run?
West: From the cops. (laughs) You know until you shared that, I thought we was vibin' man. Felt like you could really relate to my life. Poor black man in Chicago and all.
Halstead: Don't go there with me.
West: Like you would understand. Cause you would know. Poor black man in Chicago, cops bust your door and you run whether you did something or not. You run until one of three things happen: you get caught, you get away, or you're dead.
Heck, they should have re-questioned the surviving kid earlier in the investigation.
The system continues to be rigged when it comes to minorities.
Even a cutting edge software is biased against their skin color because it's programmed by white men and unable to detect facial features appropriately.
We all have to do better.
This is why black men run the minute they see police even when they're innocent.
And sadly, when situations like this occur, the truth doesn't even hold the proper weight.
No punishment existed for messing up or making the wrong call.
As we saw in this episode, anyone with any pull in the city was trying to cover their ass and completely disregarded the civilians.
Halstead: Sarge, Did I?
Voight: Did you what?
Halstead: I just wanted to make the case so damn bad. Did I go too far?
The case was especially messy for Intelligence because it showed just how ugly Chicago politics can get.
Intelligence -- the people hailed as the city's heroes -- let an innocent man take the fall for a murder that he didn't commit because it made for better optics and protected their reputation.
West died after being put into County, and when it turned out that he wasn't the man behind the murder, Voight let the city crucify him and his character anyway.
The logic here was so twisted and disgusting: since West was a junkie who died, he didn't have anyone protecting him or standing up for him.
No one would raise any questions because he was already dead. Intelligence washed their hands of it and kept it moving.
Granted, the alternative wasn't great either. Admitting to this screw up would have caused riots in the city over the death of an innocent black man.
It's not what Chicago needs, but man, there has to be some better way to handle this.
From here on, the case just kept getting worse.
Even after the software flub, Mayor Crawford touted it as "cutting edge" and "game-changing" likely because it would make the city more money.
Voight figured out that the killing was an inside job done by Kareem's right-hand man.
Instead of arresting Prophet, Voight ratted him out to Kareem and told him to handle it however he saw fit, which was the equivalent of giving him a "get away with murder" card.
Catching a criminal has always been Intelligence's top priority until it wasn't.
It stopped being the priority when it cast them in a bad light. Once that happened, it was easy to look the other way.
Prophet was beaten to death for what he did as Voight looked on, which was the worst part of it all.
Mayor Crawford: I'm going to shoot straight with you here, Hank. The optics on this... not so good. White cop playing cowboy jams up an innocent black man, throws him into County for a crime he did not commit, and, I mean someone's going to pay the tab on this. I mean, my money's on Halstead.
Voight: Really? That's funny cause my money's on you.
He may as well have been responsible for the deaths at this point.
If Prophet went to jail, he would have likely ended up killed by prisoners since they don't take too kindly to criminals who hurt children.
But at least his death and his punishment would have been justified.
With Olinksy and Antonio gone, there is no one to check Voight anymore.
The way he handled this situation was careless and his decisions continue to go unchecked.
Halstead tried to confront Voight about it, but he just told him "to let it go for once."
And that was that.
While the case weighed heavily on Halstead, it's unlikely that it'll spill over into future episodes because that's not how Chicago PD structures their storytelling.
Halstead will be back to his old self by the next episode, and it'll be business as usual in Intelligence.
But for the viewers, this is a turning point.
Voight has committed his share of crimes, made questionable calls, and covered up plenty of murders, but this one feels different.
This one cannot just be washed down with some cheap whiskey.
This addresses a problem that's all too prevalent in cities like Chicago, and yet, the answer they're offering is to "let it be."
It makes you wonder how far politicians are willing to go to protect their own image.
Even though West's innocence seemed obvious, there was always a chance that he was lying.
But to maintain that strength, these episodes must also hold Intelligence accountable for their actions.
They aren't supposed to be part of the problem, they're supposed to be part of the solution.
Were you upset with how Voight handled the situation?
Did Halstead jump the gun?
Who was to blame for how it all went down?
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