Seven Seconds is a new Netflix drama series centering around the hit-and-run of a black teenager from Jersey City by a police officer who attempted to cover up his crime.
According to executive producer Veena Sud, the inspiration for this story began with the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died in April 2015 after suffering a neck injury while in police custody whose death sparked protests and riots in Baltimore.
It was one of a string of high-profile police-involved shootings that put a spotlight on the often contentious relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans.
This pushed the Black Lives Matter movement, which started in 2012, following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. further into the spotlight. The movement has several chapters throughout the nation and holds rallies, boycotts and other actions to shed light on police brutality and inequality.
With Seven Seconds, Sud wants to tell a story that takes a hard look at the flaws in the justice system and attempts to reveal the “human stories behind the headlines.”
Focusing on a hit-and-run rather than a police-involved shooting was a conscious choice by Sud, who wanted to focus on an indelible image she thought was worth reminding people about: a young black teenager injured and left for dead.
“One of the most provocative things for me watching all these killings happen on television and in our national fabric is, over and over and over hearing and seeing these young people, whether its Tamir Rice or Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin left on the ground for so long,” she said. “It’s such an incredibly violent and horrific thing to think of a child lying in the cold…that was such an image that encapsulated that certain lives matter in this country and certain ones don’t.”
Sud hopes the show can keep the objectives of the Black Lives Movement in the public spotlight. She previously served as executive producer of the AMC crime drama series The Killing.
The series stars two-time Emmy winner Regina King (American Crime) as Latrice Butler, alongside breakout British actress Clare-Hope Ashitey (Doctor Foster), Russell Hornsby (Fences), Beau Knapp (Sand Castle), Michael Mosley (Ozark), David Lyons (Safe Haven), Raul Castillo (Special Correspondents), Zackary Momoh (A United Kingdom), Nadia Alexander (Blame), Coley Speaks (Circle), Patrick Murney (Public Morals) and Michelle Veintimilla (Gotham).
Seven Seconds is an anthology and if it gets picked up for another season by Netflix, Sud plans to focus on another political issue but still use Jersey City as the story’s backdrop.
The series debuts February 23.
The first official trailer was released last week, first on CNN.com.