Set It Off, Detectives have feelings too.
On page 193, fourth paragraph, in "Waiting to Set it Off," author Kimberly Springer makes the comment that, "As in 'Thelma and Louise', the women of 'Set It Off' ar pursued by a white male police officer, Detective Strode. The difference is that this man was responsible for Stevie's death and ,yet, has no sympathy for the women's plight."
I completely disagree with author Kimberly Springer's assessment of Detective Strode. I believe it's the sympathy he has for the women's mission that makes him take the situation so personal and serious. First off, Stevie is not killed directly by Detective Strode. Strode is apparently the man who organized the police raid that got botched, but he did not shoot Stevie himself. I believe that he wasn't even the one who yelled out "He's got a gun!" Detective Strode's only fault is that he and his men mistook Stevie for the bank robber and murderer they were after. You can see it in the detective's eyes that he is visibly shaken-up over their mistake when he's looking over Stevie's body.
When Detective Strode watches the bank surveillance tapes and realizes that it's Stony and her friends who are the robbers, he immediately understands their motivation behind the women's crime – they want revenge on the system that's screwed them, hurting Stony the worst. Detective Strode relates closest with Stony. He believes that it he is in some way responsible for the women's choices. This is most evident in the final bank robbery. When Detective Strode and his partner stop the women before they are about to make their exit, he pleads with Stony to not continue with their actions, to just surrender. He looks to be in tears as he tells Stony that what happened to her brother was an accident and a terrible one at that, but turning to a life of crime isn't the way to remedy the situation.
The final action that Detective Strode performs that proves he does sympathize with the women is by letting Stony escape when all he had to do was say a word and they (the police) would have brought her to justice.
"The Face of a man who sympathizes with women retaliating against a prejudiced government system."
If Detective Strode did not in anyway feel for the women and their cause he would not have acted in manners which I described.