This series is about real life homicide detectives doing their work in Indianapolis, Indiana. Very similar to the better known series "The First 48," this series delivers drama combined with great visuals and an insight into the workings of real detectives and the poor communities where they operate. Despite the boasts of the producers, the cops don't always get their man. Cases appear airtight but are dismissed or there's not enough evidence to charge. For this reason this series is often frustrating to watch. However the human interest in both the cops and the civilians caught up in the violence is maintained and makes "The Shift" worthwhile.
A very high proportion of the killers and victims we see here are black, reflecting the high rate of black-on-black crime in our cities. Comprising 13% of the population, blacks are responsible for 45% of the murders, and in the vast majority (95%) of cases the victims are also black. Whereas the media will play up a rare case of a white on black murder, this daily death toll of victims where the killers are of the same race is generally ignored, perhaps because it's so common. A sort of dog-bites-man thing perhaps. However the situation is horrifying, disgraceful and literally unacceptable. It is a blot on our national character that has been swept under the rug, no doubt because of reasons of political correctness. It is hard to imagine that such slaughter is allowed to continue, but it does.
One problem is the unwillingness of people in those high crime areas to talk to the police. A little courage would go a long way to solving the problem. In one episode a detective goes to tell a mother that her son has been murdered. Two women are on the steps of a house which is the only address the female detective has for the mother. The detective asks if (mother's name) lives there. The women say no, they never heard of her. She asks if the women have ever heard of (victim's name). No, never heard of him. Finally one of the women asks the detective why they want to know about the victim? She tells her that he's been shot and killed. The woman begins to wail. Turns out she's his cousin. But for some unknown reason she wouldn't admit it.
I don't know about the sociological reasons for this horrendous state of affairs in these underclass communities but if I were allowed to speculate I'd say that just one word crystalizes the tangle of pathologies that leads to such a high murder rate. That word is "babymomma." You hear it a lot. That says it all. Unwed mothers, men who share no responsibility in parenting.
The series is very well done, if a little slow compared to the "The First 48" because most episodes cover only one case in an episode whereas "The First 48" will usually cover two. But it's well worth watching. It's wonderful to watch how the detectives maintain their good nature and sense of humor in the face of so much depressing ugliness.
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