Nova's Investigation Goes to Press
Season 1 Episode 104
Journalist Nova Bordelon has been working on an exposé of the local criminal justice system, in which, she hopes to prove, countless young, often black, people have been pressured into accepting plea bargains. During her investigation, a teenager she was counseling was brutalized in jail. The shocking turn of events adds urgency to publish her story, so she asks her editor, George, to run it in the next day's paper.
As they walk down the hallway, George reviews Nova's notes on a tablet computer. "There's just not enough story here," he says.
"George, I need to run this tonight," Nova says. "I know this kid. Too Sweet's a minor being held in an adult prison. He had one joint on him, and he's being forced to take a plea of possession and a resisting charge. If a white kid from Lakeview got picked up for a joint, he'd pay a fine and get counseling."
"Yes, blacks are treated like shit," George says matter-of-factly, "but that still doesn't mean—"
Nova's phone rings. When Nova sees it's Charley, she turns it off.
"Nova," George says, gently putting his hand on her shoulder, "I okayed your plea deal story, hoping you'd take some time off to properly grieve. Give me more cases and maybe we'll talk."
She ticks off three cases in quick succession. "All these cases are excessive charges," she says. "All black.
All minors. The police and ADA are coercing people into taking plea deals."
"Sources?" George asks.
"One-on-ones, case files, and I'm meeting with the DA this afternoon," Nova says. "With my contacts at the courthouse, I'll only need a few more names."
"You know my daddy was a sheriff back in Tupelo, Mississippi?" George says, folding his arms across his chest.
Nova folds her arms as well. "And my mama was a voodoo priestess from the bayous of Louisiana."
"Going to be a serious backlash," George says with an air of caution.
"I'm not backing away from this story," Nova says.
"Good. Better than good," George says. "You think I like that gossipy shit the paper's been asking for? Hell no."
Nova's eyes widen a bit in surprise. "This," George says, tapping on the tablet, "this is what we do."
As the editor walks away, Nova chokes up a bit, her eyes welling with tears. "I'll have copy for you by midnight," she says.