In December 2012, I met two amazing men, Tim Brennan and Robert Ladd…
…extraordinary gang unit detectives whose level of work and connection to the people of the community they serve blew me away when I was first introduced to them, and has continued to do so ever since. Through extensive time spent with them reviewing tons of supporting data they provided me and researching on my own, I learned of one mind-blowing case after another where they played instrumental roles as investigators and crimesolvers. They’ve been front-and-center among some of the most iconic figures and events in pop culture history, including the beginnings of gangsta rap and the Tupac and Biggie murders.
Those stories only scratch the surface of what Tim and Bobby have seen and done. They watched the streets of Compton run red with blood as they worked relentlessly to stem the tide of death all around them.
As a fiction writer who invents outrageous stories for a living, what I make up can’t even come close to the reality of Tim and Bobby’s world…
…including a corruption case so epic and unprecedented, it resulted in something I’ve never seen happen in a city before.
As go-to experts in their fields, they are highly sought-after in television and film documentaries, as well as on the lecture circuit. They wanted to write a book, which I thought was an awesome idea. Being an avid lover of film and television, however, and recognizing those platforms as the perfect landscapes for such a powerful visual narrative, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see “MAJOR MOVIE” and “KICK-ASS TV SERIES” written all over this.
After my initial meeting with Tim and Bobby, I met with former colleagues of theirs, went on a most eye-opening ride along, and conducted outrageously candid interviews with murderers and criminals they’ve arrested in the past, all of whom have great regard for Tim and Bobby because they were damn good at what they did and weren’t the stereotype we often see of cops who are quick to dole out brutality, trumped-up charges, and sometimes death. Their story also wasn’t the overbeaten theme of a white person (*insert trope: teacher, adoptive family, whatevs*) saving the day for people of color. As a Black woman, I’ve grown so weary of that as a premise. This wasn’t the case with Tim and Bobby. The people of the community knew and liked them. There was mutual respect. Tim and Bobby were exceptional at what they did, never losing their sense of compassion and relatability for the people of the community, no matter what side of the law those people fell on. That’s what ultimately pulled me in. Considering the alarming number of instances of officer-involved shootings that have resulted in the deaths of African-Americans and people of color between the time I first met these two highly-effective detectives and the publication of our book, their humane, earnest approach to law enforcement, to me, is one that needs to be talked about on a national stage.
We ultimately got the book written and it was released on April 25, 2017. A day later, it was a number one bestseller on Amazon. Tim and Bobby’s experiences as first cops, then gang unit detectives are chronicled Once Upon A Time In Compton – a deep-dive into the universe of one of the most famous, and infamous, cities in the world.
Look for us to bring Tim and Bobby’s jaw-dropping experiences and journey during their nearly twenty years in Compton, including many not detailed in the book, to both the big and small screen.
In the meantime, dive into our book for a fuller view of this wildly compelling era through the eyes of two men who were at the center of so many major moments in its history. Click the book cover below to purchase it on Amazon.