Review: Seven Seconds
It only takes a second to make a choice and that second can have a lifetime of consequences. Netflix’s new emotionally-charged crime drama Seven Seconds is a story of the hit & run accident of young 15 yr. old black boy Brenton Butler by white police officer Peter Jablonski (Beau Knapp) in Jersey City. Seconds after the incident, Jablonski is torn as to what to do next. Should he call 911 or reach out to his fellow officers for guidance? It is in this horrifically pivotal moment that the series grabs your attention for good.
Hard to Believe
An immediate police cover-up emerges, while the grief-stricken family desperately searches for answers. It was truly heart-breaking to watch Brenton’s parents Latrice & Isaiah (played to perfection by Regina King and Russell Hornsby) watch over their son in the hospital, praying for a miracle. Consequently the Prosecutor’s office orders an investigation, assigning alcoholic & troubled attorney K.J. Harper (breakout star Clare-Hope Ashitey) to the case along with internal affairs detective Joe “Fish” Rinaldi (Michael Mosely).
What makes this series special is that you not only want justice for Brenton but also want K.J. to finally get her life in order. Fish was my favorite character as he represented the moral compass vital to this story. It becomes apparent that Fish will not bow to the political pressure, sticking to his beliefs despite all the backlash received.
Hard to Trust
The plot thickens as what originally was listed as a hate crime soon became a negligent homicide. K.J. and Fish are relentless in their pursuit of the truth causing tensions to rise within the Butler family, the black community, and the police force. The Butler family unit breaks down from the strain causing them to make hasty & dangerous decisions. I felt intense empathy watching Latrice and Isaiah grieve separately for their son. To make matters worse, we discover that achieving basic justice will not be easy as the police force will not cooperate. The fear is that exposing a few corrupt cops will make them all look bad. Frustrating to watch, but I still held out hope for the Butlers.
Hard to Face
Seven Seconds is a vital 10 episode series which confronts many divisive issues; forcing viewers to understand the current condition. It is easier to not watch this series than to face the truth. I was horrified to learn how many of our systems are broken from the police department to the legal system. Seven Seconds exposes institutionalized racism forcing us to acknowledge we have a real problem. Ultimately there is no fairy tale ending to the story. In other words, there are no winners. Lives are ruined forever, and all because of that bad decision made in just seconds.
Check out Seven Seconds on Netflix.
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