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Chiefs is a 1983 miniseries starring Charlton Heston, Keith Carradine, Stephen Collins, Danny Glover, Wayne Rogers, and Billy Dee Williams. It takes place in a small town in the deep south between 1924 and 1963, and follows three generations of police chiefs. During this 40 year period, there is a series of murders of young boys that each police chief attempts to solve, against the backdrop of the deep racial tensions of that time.

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Chiefs contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: In Part 1, Sonny Butts' father regularly got drunk and beat his mother. Plays a significant role in Part 2.
  • Corrupt Hick: Sheriff Skeeter Willis, Sonny Butts, and the various sheriffs of the neighboring county. Averted in the case of the Mayor Hugh Holmes.
  • The Klan: Plays a prominent role in the series. All of the villains seem to be members.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Foxy does not get the job as police chief because he is a loner and nobody trusts him. It turns out, they were right not to trust him.
  • Mugging the Monster: In Part 3, a racist "cowboy cop" pulls over a black motorist and threatens and harasses him for no good reason. The victim of his harassment turned out to be the new Chief of Police.
  • Oppressed Minority Veteran: Several of the black characters who are targets of harassment and lynchings are war heros.
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  • Permanent Elected Official: No matter how oppressive and corrupt is may be, Sheriff Skeeter Willis keeps getting re-elected over the decades. As does the benevolent Mayor Hugh Holmes.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The villains are all racists, members of the KKK, and liberal users of the N-word.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sheriff Willis delivers one to Chief Lee shortly after he is appointed.

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