Nicole Ari Parker to tackle police reform on ‘Chicago P.D.’

The actress will tackle police brutality on the NBC cop drama for the upcoming eighth season.

2013 BET Experience - Fan Fest Outdoor Day 1

Nicole Air Parker will tackle police brutality in her new recurring role on the upcoming eighth season of NBC’s Chicago P.D.

The actress will play Deputy Superintendent Samatha Miller on the the Dick Wolf drama series. According to, the character hails from Atlanta, Georgia and she’s “a progressive, ardent proponent of police reform” who wants to help a department led by Detective Sergeant Hank Voight  “adapt to the new reality but will not tolerate breaches of the new police guidelines and protocols.”

Chicago P.D. is a spinoff of Chicago Fire, and centers on members of the Chicago Police Department run by Voight. Parker’s Miller is expected to rein in Voight’s violent and excessive force when handling suspects and criminals. She will hold him and his team accountable by “imposing high professional standards.”

Read More: Nicole Ari Parker invents headwrap to protect hair from sweat

Cop shows have become increasingly open to scrutiny as racial tensions continue to rise across the country. Critics have noted that police dramas tend to show officers as heroes and Black people as the “bad guys” that they lock up.

A January study by advocacy group Color of Change detailed the effects of this type of fantastical portrayal of American policing. The study said “the crime TV genre – the main way that tens of millions of people learn to think about the criminal justice system – advanced debunked ideas about crime, a false hero narrative about law enforcement, and distorted representations about black people, other people of color and women. These shows rendered racism invisible and dismissed any need for police accountability.”

Police brutality and reform are expected to be explored by most cop shows in their upcoming seasons.  

Read More: ‘More Black cops’ and other BS myths for combating police brutality 

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med were all renewed for 3 more seasons by NBC.

“Dick Wolf has proven time and time again that he makes shows audiences love,” said Paul Telegdy, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We are delighted, excited and proud that as part of this epic deal with Wolf Entertainment, NBC’s loyal audience will know that their favorite shows have a certain future for the next three years.”

Parker gushed about her new Chicago P.D. gig on Twitter, writing “So excited to join this amazing cast, playing this timely role.” She added that her longtime friend, actor Eriq LaSalle, will direct her on the series. 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!