Laura Cooke is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She is assigned to the crime beat alongside her colleague Scott Anderson. She is writing a piece about the civil unrest following the death of Howard Elias. She interviews protest organizer Desiree Zealy at Angels Flight, the site of Elias' murder, the day after the shooting.
Chief of Police Irvin Irving reluctantly grants Cooke an interview on the Sunday after the shooting at his office. She listens to his concerns about the balance of reporting about his department and tells him that reporters need adequate access in order to get the full story. The reasoned approach wins her his cell phone number.