Chicago pd rojas

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Chicago PDboss Rick Eid has opened up a little about how Vanessa Rojas' absence in season eight's first episode will be addressed.

Back in September, the show revealed that Lisseth Chavez would not be returning as the police officer when the new instalment begins in the US on November 11.

Now, the producer has recalled how the mention of her not being present in the opener's initial script felt a bit shoehorned, so they're still playing around with ideas on how to approach it on screen.

NBC Universal

Related: Chicago PD boss reveals original season 7 finale had a devastating twist

"It's always hard to say goodbye to a character," Eid told TV Line ahead of tonight's comeback. "We tried to address it in the premiere, but it felt forced. In other words, we're still working on it."

Rojas was introduced in the second episode of season 7, having joined the Intelligence unit after crossing paths with future partner Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) while working undercover. It's believed that Chavez stepped down from the role in order to join the cast of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

NBC Universal

Related: Chicago Fire star Monica Raymund opens up on whether she would ever return to the show

"HELLOOOOO LEGENDS! Looks like I’ll be joining the DC Universe," she wrote on Instagram, alongside a screenshot of a report that detailed her Chicago PD exit. "So many changes this year, feeling grateful for this opportunity.

"I can't wait for you all to meet Esperanza aka SPOONER. Canada 🇨🇦, I'm looking forward to calling you my second home. I'm ready for this new journey - LETS KICK SOME ASS!! 💥"

Chicago PD airs on NBC in the US, and on Universal, 5USA and Sky Witness in the UK.

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Chicago P.D. is saying goodbye to one of its officers: Lisseth Chavez, who played Intelligence unit rookie Vanessa Rojas, will not return as a series regular for Season 8, TVLine has confirmed. But the actress won’t be off TV screens for long: Chavez is boarding The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow as a full-time cast member. (Get details on her new role here.)

Chavez joined P.D. in Season 7’s second episode as an undercover cop who was then recruited by Sergeant Voight to become a member of his team. As part of the unit, Rojas formed a bond (and slight flirtation) with fellow officer Kevin Atwater. A source tells TVLine that some new cast additions will come in to fill the void left by Rojas’ departure.

Elsewhere in the world of #OneChicago, Fire‘s Daniel Kyri (aka firefighter Ritter) has been promoted to full-time status for Season 9, while his co-star Annie Ilonzeh (paramedic Emily Foster) will not be back as a series regular.

P.D.‘s seventh season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, with Episode 20 serving as the unintentional finale. The show is slated to return for Season 8 on Wednesday, Nov. 11, once again airing at 10/9c on NBC after Chicago Med and Chicago Fire.

P.D. fans, are you sad to see Chavez go? Hit the comments with your thoughts on Rojas’ exit.

If you like TVLine, you'll LOVE our weekly newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

TAGS: Chicago P.D., Lisseth Chavez, NBC

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First Look At Chicago P.D.'s New Cop Makes Me Wonder What Happened To Rojas

Chicago P.D. has gone for half of Season 8 with just five cops in Voight's Intelligence Unit thanks to the departure of Lisseth Chavez's Vanessa Rojas, but a photo from the upcoming episode reveals a first look at the officer who will take the vacant spot. The newcomer is Jalen Walker, played by Cleveland Berto, and the intriguing first look at him in Chicago P.D. indicates that his first encounter with Intelligence may be far from a meet-cute. And yet I find myself wondering: where is Rojas?!

In fairness to the bigger picture than MIA Rojas, the first look at Cleveland Berto as Jalen Walker is definitely interesting, and I can't wait to see what he brings to the unit that has had an odd number of officers for far too long. The early character description of Walker indicates that he'll be completely unlike any of the other current or former members of Intelligence, and there's a lot of promise that he could freshen up the dynamic. The photo made me even more excited to see how this newcomer fits into the unit. Take a look:

Whatever is happening in this scene, Cleveland Berto's Jalen Walker seems to be having words with Atwater and Ruzek. Walker isn't wearing a patrol uniform, but the photo is of Cleveland Berto, so there are a lot of questions about his debut in the March 10 episode that need to be answered. Is he off-duty? Undercover? Witness? But seriously, I still have leftover questions about the person who held that sixth spot in Intelligence in the Season 7 finale with no indication that she planned to go anywhere. What happened to Rojas?

By the end of Season 7, Rojas had formed a deep bond with Upton and even lived with her. Sparks were flying between Rojas and Atwater, and signs pointed toward Chicago P.D.potentially exploring a romance. She settled into her role in Intelligence and seemed to suit the same shades of gray that the rest of the unit was already used to working in. Rojas faced a big challenge in trying to replace Jon Seda's Antonio Dawson, but she seemed set for the long run back when Season 7 ended.

Instead, Rojas is evidently going to be a one-season wonder, and news broke of Lisseth Chavez's departure early enough ahead of Season 8 that it came as no surprise that Rojas wasn't around when the show made its long-awaited premiere back in November. The surprise was more that Chicago P.D. never addressed what happened to Rojas, or even mentioned her. Upton no longer lives in the apartment they shared, but that seems to be about as close as P.D. has come to noting her absence.

Lisseth Chavez landed a new TV show that films up in Vancouver, so it does make sense that she didn't show back up on Chicago P.D. even for a quick farewell, but I've just been dying to know the in-show reason why Rojas is gone. At this point, I think too much time has passed without a mention for Chicago P.D. to reveal that she'd been killed off over hiatus. More likely options, in my book, are that Rojas went back undercover, Rojas left Intelligence and/or CPD, or Rojas was fired. It would still be weird that P.D. didn't mention her for months of Season 8 if the show goes with one of those three options, but we can't just pretend she was never part of the unit, right?

All of this said, I'm genuinely excited to see what Cleveland Berto brings to Chicago P.D., and not just because the introduction of Rojas' replacement seems like the point in the season that P.D. absolutely has to explain where she is. With regard to Walker, on top of the first look and the description setting the stage for what could be a complex new character, I feel like Intelligence having an even number of cops working under Voight again could mean more balanced stories and maybe even some mixed-up dynamics. I'm assuming Upton won't be taking Walker home with her like she did Rojas, but would Walker coming on board mean Voight mixing up the partners?

The Upstead relationship technically means that Upton and Halstead probably shouldn't be partnered up anymore, although as a fan of their friendship and partnership before their romance, I'd hate to lose that part of their relationship. Burgess and Ruzek have been partnered up a lot as well, and they have enough baggage between them that working with a different partner might make sense as well.

And poor Atwater hasn't really had much partner work at all in Season 8, or even much focus beyond those first two episodes that tied off the loose ends from Season 7. Most of the Chicago P.D. cast agrees that Atwater should be the next officer to make detective, so I for one am ready for more Atwater focus. Even if he doesn't get a love interest. Walker bumping the cop count up to six could open the door for balance.

The good news on the Atwater front is that the next new episode, called "Protect and Serve" and airing on March 10 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, will see Atwater and Ruzek tasked with making an arrest following a high-profile shooting, but it becomes clear that somebody doesn't intend for them to make it back to the district.

Admittedly, that's probably terrible news for Atwater himself, but sounds like a pretty solid episode. The official description doesn't mention Cleveland Berto's Jalen Walker (or Rojas), but he's on the way. I'm just hoping that an update on Rojas is on the way as well.

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.

Stop or I'll Shoot! - Chicago PD (Episode Highlight)

Chicago PD season 9: Will Lisseth Chavez return as Vanessa Rojas?

There have been many cast members to come and go over the years on Chicago PD, but one of the most puzzling departures in the show’s history is without a doubt that of Lisseth Chavez.

Chavez made her Chicago PD debut in the second episode of season 7 as Vanessa Rojas, an undercover cop working to bring down a drug syndicate who was later recruited by Voight (Jason Beghe) to join the Intelligence Unit. She would go on to appear as a series regular for the remainder of the season before suddenly departing the series after just one season on the show.

Why did Lisseth Chavez leave Chicago PD?

To this day, it remains unclear why Lisseth Chavez left Chicago PD after just one season but initial reports suggest her exit was simply due to creative decisions.

After Chavez was cast in The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow in Sept. 2020, Deadline reported the PD creative team decided not to extend her contract with the show having felt that it was better to wrap her arc.

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Unfortunately, because the coronavirus pandemic cut season 7 short, the writers never really had the chance to give viewers a proper conclusion to Rojas’ story. The hope was that the season 8 premiere would give fans closure of some sort, but Rojas never really received a proper sendoff.

Will Lisseth Chavez be in Chicago PD season 9?

Because we didn’t the chance to bid farewell to Lisseth Chavez’s character in season 8, we can’t help but wonder whether season 9 could finally give us a resolution of some kind. There is nothing we’d love more than to see Chavez return even if for a guest appearance to better explain Rojas’ departure, it’s looking quite unlikely that we’ll see the character reappear in season 9.

As we mentioned above, Chavez left Chicago PD to join the cast of Legends of Tomorrow and it’s expected she’ll be returning for the show’s seventh season airing this fall on The CW. Given her status as a series regular on Legends of Tomorrow and the fact that the series films in Canada, it seems highly unlikely Chavez would be able to find time to return for a guest appearance or arc on Chicago PD. 

Even if her schedule were to allow her the time, we get a sense the writers felt Rojas’ arc had run its course which was what factored into the decision not to renew Chavez’s contract.  While the writers could look to revisit the character at some point, there simply does not appear to be any plans to do so at this time.

For the latest Chicago PD season 9 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.


Rojas chicago pd

Chicago PD season 8 finally casts Vanessa Rojas’ replacement

Cleveland Berto is Chicago PD’s newest cast member.

Chicago PD season 8 has finally found its replacement for Vanessa Rojas.

Cleveland Berto has been cast to play Officer Jalen Walker, according to a report from Variety. Berto will immediately be a series regular when he appears later this season, though it’s not stated when he’ll be introduced.

That’s different from Lisseth Chavez, who was billed as a recurring cast member when she was brought aboard as Officer Vanessa Rojas and then quickly promoted to regular.

Chavez was not asked to return for Chicago PD season 8, and the show has yet to offer any kind of explanation for Rojas’ departure—or even acknowledge the character’s absence.

Watch One Chicago on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

Berto’s character Walker is completely opposite from Rojas, who had a rough backstory. Instead, he’s described as a “golden boy” who opted to work for the Chicago Police Department instead of pursuing a lucrative career on Wall Street. He almost sounds a little too perfect, listed as “[an] athlete, smart, family man [and] scholar.”

His casting will give Chicago PD another African-American series regular; LaRoyce Hawkins‘ Kevin Atwater was the only Black main character on the show for years until Rojas, who was biracial. As race relations are once again at the forefront of the series this season, having another perspective other than Atwater’s could be beneficial.

But the actual character of Jalen Walker is a big question mark. Other than sounding near-perfect, how is he going to fit in with Intelligence, which is a very rough-and-tumble organization? Are we going to have another Hailey Upton situation, where a cop with a great reputation comes into the unit and eventually changes almost completely?

Or is Walker going to be that contrary voice that the unit desperately needs to broaden the show’s storytelling? Plus, will the fans embrace him?

Only time will tell—and hopefully he’ll be retained for more than one season.

Like Lisseth Chavez, Cleveland Berto joins the One Chicago universe in what will be his biggest role to date. This will be the first time he’s appeared in more than one episode of a TV show since 2015 when he was in The Story of Miya. His more recent credits include smaller roles in Casual, Lucifer and Terminator: Dark Fate. You can check out his filmography here.

For the latest Chicago PD season 8 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.

We've Got a Runner! - Chicago PD (Episode Highlight)

Officer Vanessa Rojas Didn't Return on 'Chicago P.D.' — Producer Says Goodbye Feels "Forced"

After a super weird year — for TV and for everything else — some things are finally starting to get back to normal. So many people have been really patient waiting for their favorite TV shows to come back. Many shows had to cut their seasons short due to COVID-19, which has left people craving their favorites to return. One of the affected shows affected was Chicago P.D., which ended Season 7 early. Now that Season 8 is over fans still have one big question: What happened to Rojas?

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What happened to Officer Rojas on 'Chicago P.D.'?

Officer Vanessa Rojas joined the cast of Chicago P.D. in 2019 for Season 7. After the character made a few guest appearances, she was an official lead character starring in 19 episodes. Played by Lisseth Chavez, her character was quite popular on the show. She was introduced when she was working undercover on a case, meeting Officer Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins), who was also an undercover cop, which she didn't know at the time. 

The investigation they were both on was shared with Intelligence and Rojas was offered a permanent position within the unit. Fans of Chicago P.D. enjoyed the new character and there was likely more planned for Season 7 beyond the 19 episodes that aired, but with the season cut short, fans were hoping to see more of Officer Rojas and Lisseth when it came time to air Season 8.

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what happened to vanessa rojas on chicago pd

Source: NBCUniversal Media

But that's not what happened. Although Lisseth wasn't a part of the series for long playing the role of Office Rojas, she revealed she would not be returning to the show for Season 8. There are some conflicting details on why Lisseth left, whether it was her decision or the producers who chose not to continue the role. 

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Deadlinereported, "[Lisseth[’s option was not picked up after the series’ creative team had decided to wrap her arc. Because the coronavirus pandemic cut last season of Chicago P.D. short, Rojas’ storyline did not get a proper conclusion and the character’s exit will have to be addressed at the start of next season."

With her character being dropped without a fully fleshed out conclusion, people aren't sure what to expect with Season 8 underway, and it sounds like the producers aren't too sure either. 

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How will producers explain Officer Rojas' absence in Season 8 of 'Chicago. P.D.'?

Since Season 7 had to be cut short with very little warning, the finale wasn't the most thought out that it could have been. In the makeshift finale, one of the last scenes Rojas was involved in was helping out Officer Kevin Atwater and Officer Tom Doyle (Mickey O'Sullivan) while they were attempting to arrest the middleman in a gun-running operation.

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Given that didn't really have any form of conclusion to it, producers are worried that trying to explain her absence would come across forced. 

"It's always hard to say goodbye to a character," producer Rick Eid told TV Line ahead of Season 8's premiere. "We tried to address it in the premiere, but it felt forced. In other words, we're still working on it."

And then Season 8 premiered ... and concluded ... and there was still no resolution to the question of what happened to Rojas. Fans of the show are still super confused about what happened to the character, and now that an entire season has aired with no answers being provided, it's starting to look like those answers may never come.

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While it's the end for Rojas on Chicago P.D., Lisseth Chavez is taking on a new role in the DC Universe. "HELLOOOOO LEGENDS! Looks like I’ll be joining the DC Universe," she shared on Instagram, along with a screenshot of the Dateline article that reported on her Chicago P.D. exit. "So many changes this year, feeling grateful for this opportunity."

She continued, "I can't wait for you all to meet Esperanza aka SPOONER, I'm looking forward to calling you my second home. I'm ready for this new journey.


Now discussing:

Vanessa Rojas
Full NameVanessa Rojas
AliasVee, Maria Lopez, Nina Hernandez
AffiliationChicago Police Department
DepartmentIntelligence Unit (formerly)
OccupationPolice Officer
RelationshipsLuis Reyes (ex-boyfriend)
Kevin Atwater (former love interest)
FriendsHailey Upton (roommate)
Kevin Atwater
First AppearanceAssets
Last AppearanceSilence of the Night
Portrayed byLisseth Chavez

Officer Vanessa Rojas is a police officer and former member of the 21st District's Intelligence unit.


Rojas grew up in 32 foster homes before eventually becoming a cop. She was working undercover on a case when she met Officer Kevin Atwater who, unbeknownst to her, was also an undercover cop. The investigation was then shared with Intelligence, after which she was offered a permanent position within the unit.


Hailey Upton

Rojas met Hailey when Rojas’ undercover operation crossed paths with an Intelligence investigation. Sergeant Hank Voight partnered them together so Hailey could assess if Rojas was a good fit for the unit. Upton ultimately decided that Rojas was right for Intelligence and offered her a spot in the unit. Upon realizing that Rojas has no place to live, Upton invites her to live with her for the time being, leading to them becoming roommates.

Kevin Atwater

Rojas met Kevin when Rojas' undercover operation crossed paths with an Intelligence investigation. Both were unaware of the other's undercover assignment, until it was reveal. Afterwards, their respective squads decided to work together and both were amused the others were cops. After her transition into Intelligence, Kevin and Rojas are seen on more cases together.


Mercy (1)

Notes and Trivia

  • Rojas is left-handed.
  • Her sidearm is a two-toned Glock 48.
  • Rojas occasionally uses her personal car, a 5th-gen Ford Bronco, on duty.
  • Her radio code is 5021 Frank.
  • She lived in foster care for several years.
  • Rojas stated she is half Hispanic and black.
  • She has never met past Intelligence members: Erin Lindsay, Alvin Olinsky, and Antonio Dawson.
  • Vanessa was originally intended to be the love interest of Kevin with a story arc ready.
  • Vanessa only appears in Season 7, as Lisseth Chavez accepted an new role on Legends Of Tomorrow during the hiatus in between seasons.
    • As of yet, no reason has been given for her character's sudden departure.

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