‘Law & Order: SVU’: How Will Demore Barnes’ Chief Christian Garland Exit Series?

Law & Order: SVU is a spin-off of the show Law & Order. The show has garnered a massive following since it first aired in 1999. The show is now the longest-running prime-time live-action series in history. There is some controversy about one of the characters on the show about how they will leave. Let’s take a look at the show and discuss how Chief Christian Garland will exit the series.

What is ‘Law & Order: SVU’ about?

The show originated based on a real-life crime where a man strangled his girlfriend and claimed that it was an accident due to rough sex. The crime inspired writer Dick Wolf to create the show to investigate the psychology of crimes. The original title of the show was Sex Crimes, which reflected the sexual nature of the crimes depicted on the show. The producers went with a different title because they felt that it would be more commercially acceptable. 

Based on the NYPD New York City Police Department’s 16th precinct in Manhattan, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has an elite force, the Special Victims Unit, or SVU for short, to investigate various sexually-oriented crimes including rape, pedophilia, and domestic violence. In addition, they also investigate the abuses of children, the disabled, and elderly victims of non-sexual crimes who require special handling.

How will Chief Garland leave the show?

Demore Barnes as Deputy Chief Christian Garland on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.'
Demore Barnes as Deputy Chief Christian Garland on ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.’ | Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Garland has been a character on the show for a while now. The actor who portrays Garland, Demore Barnes, shared in an Instagram post, “While I know you were happy that I was here, and that I’m happy that I was here, I also know you’re sad and surprised and I am too. I don’t totally know why this happened.” Though the actor seems saddened to be leaving the show, he also seems grateful for the opportunity and he is pleased that the show amplifies the stories of survivors. 

According to Distractify, there have been hints that Chief Garland may be having health issues. So the writers may be hinting that the character will soon die of natural causes. The chief has been shown clutching his chest and claiming that he is taking a few days off to get some tests done. All of these are indications that a health issue will be the reason for his exit from the show. 

Actor Demore Barnes’ career is notable

Barnes is best known for his role in the series The Unit. The Canadian-born actor has also appeared in the TV series Hannibal as well as Hemlock Grove. His film credits include Simon in the film Awakening, Ricky Horn in Jasper, Texas, and Michael Harrison in Jean of the Joneses.

Barnes was also cast as Benjamin Hardaway in The Associates. For that role, Demore was nominated for two consecutive years for the Gemini award, which is Canada’s equivalent of an Emmy, and as Best Lead Actor in a drama series. In addition, Demore was the winner of the BFV and Black Film Award for best performance in a dramatic series.

Although the show has been a long-running juggernaut, there will be a decidedly blank space with the absence of Chief Garland. The character was the first black Deputy Chief in SVU history. Hopefully, this role will set a precedent for future casting choices for the show.

As to how Chief Garland will exit the show, it’s anyone’s guess. Even though there have been several hints to some health issues, it could be a red herring. Chief Garland may get caught in some gunfire and die from a gunshot wound. Perhaps he will simply just be a footnote for later seasons and we may never know what actually happened. 

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