(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Tuesday’s episode of “Atlanta”)
Tuesday night’s “Atlanta” finale just gave everyone a healthy dose of the reality of police brutality and how desensitized we have become to it.
The episode, appropriately titled “The Jacket,” focuses on Earn’s quest in retrieving his lost jacket after a night of partying and heavy drinking with Paper Boi and Darius. Earn (Donald Glover) quickly finds out that he left it in their Uber driver’s car from the night before so he, along with his cousin and sidekick, plans to meet up with the driver to get it back.
As Earn, Paper Boi and Darius wait on the side of the road for the driver to arrive, a slew of police officers pull up on them and order them out of the car with their guns drawn –they’re looking for the Uber driver too, who they suspect of being a drug dealer.
Shortly after, the suspect in question runs into the scene, wearing Earn’s jacket, and attempts to flee from the officers, but unfortunately this doesn’t end well for him. The Uber driver ends up getting fired at by almost every officer present and winds up dead.
Although this was probably the most intense scene in all of the “Atlanta” episodes, none of the characters lingered on the fact that they just witnessed a man being shot to death by police officers. In fact, no more than a minute after the man was pronounced dead does Earn walk up to the cops and asks if they could check the pockets of his jacket on the dead driver.
It has long been a criticism that sharing videos of police brutality towards black men is making us desensitized to the violence and “Atlanta” captured that effortlessly.