The Mar. 5 episode of Scandal, "The Lawn Chair," centered on the story of an unarmed black teen who was shot and killed by a white, male police officer on a Washington D.C. street. The officer had responded to a report of robbery at a cellphone store and when he saw a teenager nearby holding a cellphone still in its box, he shot him.
Fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) was then hired by the police to keep the incident, and the nearby streets that were quickly filling with neighbors, quiet. But the teen's father, Clarence (Courtney B. Vance), suddenly pulled out a gun and refused to let anyone near his son's body. As things escalated, a neighborhood watchman brought him a lawn chair (hence the episode title) and Clarence sat over his son Brandon's body, armed, for days.
The episode ended with the arrest of the officer who pulled the trigger (turned out, he put a knife under the body to make it look like Brandon was armed) and with Olivia escorting Clarence from the crime scene to the Oval Office where the president (Tony Goldwyn) offered his condolences.
It was immediately clear to viewers that "The Lawn Chair" was addressing the deaths of Mike Brown, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin in recents years and the protests that followed when many felt justice wasn't served. On Scandal, people also gathered in the streets to protest, with Olivia joining them at a certain point. Bystanders used cellphones to capture every move that was made, while the body of a dead black teenager — who, it was revealed, was reaching for his receipt, not a weapon — was laying in the street nearly the entire episode.