LaRoyce Hawkins Says ‘Chicago P.D.’ Is Showing ‘Something Unique’ With Atwater’s New Love Interest

LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater in Chicago PD
Lori Allen/NBC

It only took another three years, but Officer Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) finally is getting another love interest on Chicago P.D. And with the October 20 episode, “Burnside,” the NBC drama is also showing something different than it has in the past when it comes to the personal lives of the Intelligence unit.

“You’ll see something unique from the type of love that we’ve told about historically. Most of the love that that we see is blue, between partners. It feels something like a crisis bond naturally between one cop to another, which obviously our audience loves and obviously we know how to do that very well,” Hawkins notes to TV Insider, referring to the romances between members of the unit over the years. “But this is something different. This love isn’t blue at all. It’s very Black and it’s layered.

“And [it has] nuances that I think Chicago culture will appreciate, how we meet each other. The art of Chicago stepping is introduced in a way that that part of the Chicago community should truly, truly appreciate, and then the other parts that don’t know anything can start to tap in and will learn,” he continues. “Protest art, art by young artists, all of these different layers really make up what Atwater and Celeste [Amanda Payton] have to talk about. That’s the foundation of the origins of their love. Even community, especially community, representing a community like Burnside that can feel like a tale of two cities, all of that is just going to be real dope and different.”

But because this is Chicago P.D. and because this is Atwater — his last and only love interest came in the Season 6 episode, “Black and Blue,” and she went to prison — his personal life gets mixed up in the case. As the team investigates a deadly shooting in Burnside, he realizes he has a very personal connection to the case. And as the promo (below) shows, Celeste doesn’t know he’s a cop — and it may get very complicated when he tries to work her to find out what happened.

“We find ourselves discovering how difficult it is to be a Black cop in the city of Chicago. I know that’s the story that we wanted to tell,” Hawkins previews. “We wanted to unpack those foils in a way that we won’t be able to forget them, in a way that it’s like, wow, this is difficult morally, mentally, physically. It can take a toll on you. Atwater’s an example of that difficulty.”

Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC