*In July of 2013, after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, the oldest son of Reggie Rock Bythewood and Gina Prince-Bythewood, was distraught.
When he asked his father how this could happen, the “Shots Fired” co-exec. producer/director showed him an Emmett Till documentary on Youtube. The result was “a man-to-man conversation” Bythewood said, “about the justice system and some of its failings as it pertains to African-Americans in this country.”
This resulted in their son doing what his parents seek to do. Speak their truth. He put pen to paper, writing a short story about Trayvon Martin going to Heaven and meeting Emmett Till.
Fours year later, the Bythewoods are exec-producing ‘Shots Fired” a ten hour event series airing on Fox involving the shootings of two unarmed men, One black and one white.
Their son’s short story is read in part by Shawn (Kylen Davis) in an emotional scene with his mother Shameeka (DeWanda Wise).
The scene, originally shot in May of 2016, preceded the confession by Carolyn Bryant, that Emmett Till did not whistle at her (the “crime” that cost Emmett Till his life).
While this new revelation is not reflected in the scene, the short story suggests, Emmett, Trayvon and so many others, should never have lost their lives. Shots Fired airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on Fox starring Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Helen Hunt, Richard Dryfess, Stephen Moyer and Aisha Hinds.