‘S.W.A.T.’ Addresses Police Brutality Protests in Powerful Season 4 Trailer (VIDEO)

SWAT Season 4 Premiere Lina Esco Chris Shemar Moore Hondo
Bill Inoshita / CBS

When S.W.A.T. returns in November (it was originally scheduled to be held until midseason), the CBS procedural will be mirroring real life: Both the coronavirus pandemic and the protests against police brutality and racism after George Floyd’s death have been written into the fourth season.

And you can get a first look at how Season 4 will be tackling those issues in the newly released promo. In the first hour of the two-part premiere, “3 Seventeen Year Olds,” Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson (Shemar Moore), his father Daniel Sr. (Obba Babatundé), and teen Darryl (Deshae Frost) confront L.A.’s history of racial tension between law enforcement and the Black community. There will be flashbacks to the city in 1992 after police were acquitted in the brutal arrest of Rodney King.

It’s been 28 years since the L.A. riots, and with the Watts riots 27 years before that in 1965, Hondo worries in the promo, “History says we’re a year overdue for another storm.” That storm? It’s here in Season 4, and “the world’s about to change” (as Amy Farrington’s Lieutenant Piper Lynch says), and not just because the coronavirus pandemic also means shutting down the city.

Watch the promo below to see Hondo walking with protesters after Floyd’s death (in the world of the procedural) , S.W.A.T. wearing masks to protect themselves, and one of the team’s own in serious peril following an explosion near an ambulance.

“When S.W.A.T. began three years ago on CBS, as writers we examined the intersection of black communities and law enforcement through the eyes of Daniel ‘Hondo’ Harrelson, an African-American cop who has one foot firmly planted in each world. Since then we have continued to tell stories that have explored themes of race and policing in minority communities,” the drama’s writers wrote in a message posted on Twitter in June.

“We also asked questions about what is required to build trust and bridge these two worlds,” the statement continued. “We are watching recent events in horror and sadness along with everyone else and will continue to mine the truth about these issues in the writing of our upcoming season as we all work towards a fairer, better system.”

S.W.A.T., Two-Hour Season 4 Premiere, Wednesday, November 11, 9/8c, CBS