Written by Emily Aguilar
On the week of August 14th, rap fans (and rap fan poseurs) and movie-goers were blown away by “Straight Outta Compton,” a biopic about gangsta rap group NWA.
The movie followed the ruthless gangsta rap group covering their beginning, end, and impact on society. The movie has topped the Box Office drawing in $60 million and numerous praise from fans — and fear and criticism from the group’s biggest haters: the Los Angeles Police Department.
The LAPD — and some other cops — have expressed rage, or rather, concern, for the movie’s release.
While “Straight Outta Compton” is not a social justice film, it depicted serious cases of brutality: the film showed cops using military tanks to break into drug houses (a method used in Compton to bust suspected meth houses), beating NWA members solely because they looked suspicious and filmed a re-enactment of the LA riots as reaction to the Rodney King verdict of 1992.
In response, some cops fear the movie will ignite hatred toward the police; as a matter of fact, some LAPD members went so far as to protest the release of “Straight Outta Compton” according to TMZ. Little do the cops understand that “SOC” did not influence the public’s hatred toward them.
The American public has seen the oppression cops have placed upon underprivileged citizens for themselves: we have seen Sandra Bland killed at the hands of police; we have heard our own families and friends feel that the police have stepped out of line while under custody; because of the police, we know what it is — and what it’s like to be a victim of — being a suspect due to police profiling. Police brutality is not a trend set by a gangsta rap movie, it is a trend set by the police themselves.
Nevertheless, the cops’ own insecurity has led them to protest the showing of the film, and just as they tried to prevent “Fuck Tha Police” from being played at concerts, the cops want to keep the public from knowing how corrupt they are. For their safety and well-being, of course. Maybe if these cops thought of the well-being of the innocent victims, we wouldn’t have movies, protestors, or gangsta rap groups working to expose their corruption.
“SOC” and NWA did not make the public hate the police. The police have done a good job of doing that on their own. Perhaps these cops — who for all we know, can be good cops who are tired of the corruption of their work force — should work to improve their public image rather than cowering in fear behind their badges.