A new television series shot on Chicago’s South Side is airing now on AMC.
“61st Street” is set in Woodlawn and explores the relationship between community, police and the courts.
It follows a public defender played by Courtney B. Vance as he defends a high school track star charged with the murder of a Chicago Police officer.
J. David Shanks, a South Side native and former Chicago Police officer, is an executive producer.
He says the crew worked with the Invisible Institute, an investigative journalism organization, to draw from real experiences while writing the series.
“We spent two weeks working out of the Invisible Institute and many of those days we would take like field trips, and we went to 26th and California, and we sat and we watched case after case,” said Shanks. “We would see the line of people that sort of extended out from the front door before they actually opened and how the line went down the block and then turned the corner of Black and Brown people, and then once we get inside, we just watched this sort of conveyor belt, you know, of justice, these overworked public defenders with arms full of case files and barely enough time, meeting the defendants for the first time as they walked to stand before the judge.”
“61st Street” airs Sundays on AMC.