The former Supergirl star, who will play a still-unnamed detective for the show’s upcoming Season 22, has shared his powerful thoughts on the role.
On his Instagram feed, Brooks posted a lengthy discussion on his own poor experiences with the police over the years and how that shaped much of his life.
He’s thus looking forward to addressing those changes with his new role in Law & Order. Brooks shared how the experience is shifting his own views on the police.
The actor’s words indicate his character will have a different attitude than past Law & Order detectives and the show will address some major issues regarding police conduct.
This preview, including a photo of Brooks in costume, hints that he’ll be shaking up the show majorly in Season 22.
Law & Order tackling serious issues
Law & Order has always made current events a key part of the drama and not just in the “ripped from the headlines” storylines.
The show has addressed issues of police misconduct over the years as well as changes in society that can affect the law.
An old-school cop, Cosgrove wasn’t happy with how police were judged, while Bernard wrestled with how, as a Black man, he could serve the NYPD.
Their final scene in the Season 21 finale had the partners arguing over a Black woman claiming she shot a police officer in self-defense when he threatened her with racial insults.
Anderson has left the show, meaning Mehcad Brooks will play Cosgrove’s yet unnamed new partner. The actor now has some powerful words to say about the role.
Brooks and his powerful essay
Known for roles on Necessary Roughness and Supergirl, Brooks posted an image on Instagram of his character in a police uniform, ready for a case.
But the actor also shared a lengthy talk on his personal history with police, which has often been quite terrible.
“My first interaction with police I was 7 years old. They hurt me, they harassed me and cuffed me for playing hide n seek. They didn’t believe I belonged there. So I was treated as a threat – at 7. Their conduct was beyond the pale, inexcusable and abusive. It took me decades to process that.”
Brooks continued on how he had accepted that police officers could harass citizens and even sought therapy to handle it.
It was in the midst of this that Brooks was offered the Law & Order role, which he saw as a way of dealing with his issues.
“While in therapy, I asked the universe for an opportunity to heal fully, holistically and in a way that felt good to me and then – I got a call from Law & Order to come play a detective on the most iconic police show of all time. One I grew up watching. One I had always admired for its ability to keep its finger on the pulse of current themes in society while being careful not to preach to the society it’s reflecting. I’m learning so much more about policing vs crime fighting, anti-crime vs solving crimes and my own healing in that process.”
Brooks shared how a veteran NYPD detective who was a consultant on the show gave him the advice, “When you’re a homicide detective, you work for God.”
Brooks wrapped up the piece by thanking the show for this opportunity and concluding with the line, “This ain’t’ your Dad’s #LawAndOrder.”
While his character is still unnamed, he appears to be a former street cop who will bring a younger perspective to the partnership with Cosgrove.
Brooks’ powerful essay shows that his character will have a different attitude than past Law & Order detectives and may bring a serious spark to Season 22.
Law & Order Season 22 premieres Thursday September 22 at 8/7 on NBC.