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The world of Chicago is expanding with the latest installment in the Dick Wolf franchise: Chicago Justice.
Delving into the world of lawyers and prosecutors in Chicago, the potential series will be introduced in the May 11 episode of Chicago P.D., which finds Burgess (Marina Squerciati) on trial after shooting an unidentified man whom she believes shot her partner, Roman (Brian Geraghty).
“They get ambushed essentially,” executive producer Matt Olmstead tells EW. “Roman is severely injured and Burgess pursues the shooter, thus setting off a chain of events where there’s a little bit of a doubt whether she got the right guy.”
Making matters more complicated is the fact that Roman and Burgess aren’t just partners. “Was her head on straight when she was pursuing the guy?” Olmstead says. “Does she want to withhold that information that she was in an early-stage relationship from the people who are looking at her? Does it look bad if they find out and she hasn’t told them and gotten in front of it?”
Thus, the introduction of the Justice characters, played by the likes of Carl Weathers, Philip Winchester, Joelle Carter, and Nazneen Contractor. “It turns into a very high-profile case that the state’s attorney’s office comes in and, because it’s high-profile, they have their own investigators doing a separate and independent investigation of the crime,” Olmstead says.
“You have Voight [Jason Beghe], who’s always very protective, always very adept at, if he needs to, kind of sidestepping information or sweeping certain things under the rug. It’s completely not on the table in this go-round because there’s such a focus on the unit and on Burgess’ actions,” he continues. “Also, we have a backstory: The main state’s attorney’s office prosecutor [played by Winchester] is the same guy that put Voight in prison years ago, so Voight at once is respectful of this guy’s abilities — clearly, he’s one of the few people who can kind of go toe-to-toe with Voight, didn’t fear Voight, and put Voight away — and there’s certainly some resentment. So that whole relationship’s loaded going into it, but it turns into an investigation and trial — we jump ahead in time and do a trial — of the shooting and whether or not Burgess did the right thing.”
True to form for the Wolf universe, the story is based on real-world events. “It was Dick’s idea, and he wanted to do this story,” Olmstead says. “Not too long ago, I believe in Philadelphia, there were two cops sitting in their patrol car and a shooter walked up and just ambushed and fired into the car and ran. And that’s basically a version of our jumping-off point in this story.”
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.