Noisey released a documentary entitled The Story Of Fuck Tha Police today (September 9). Along with interviews with N.W.A members Ice Cube and DJ Yella, the film also includes interviews with Tim “Blondie” Brennan and Robert Ladd, two former officers who served in the Compton Police Department’s gang unit from 1982 to 2000. “We were there,” Ladd says. “They were singing about us, not anybody else. It was about the Compton Police.”
“I knew Eazy-E at that time and I had arrested him before they started N.W.A,” Brennan describes. “In our career we’ve been to thousands of shooting scenes, hundreds and hundreds of murder victims and thousands of gunshot victims… It was total chaos. Some nights you’d hear a gang war going on and you’d hear a volley of 30 to 40 shots in one area. By the time you get there you’ve got victims down all over and you’re already seeing the guys that are friends of these gang members already talking about ‘we know who it is’ and they’d be loading up and jumping into cars and five minutes later when we’re trying to get information on this shooting and we’re hearing the shooting and retaliation in the other area. Most of the citizens of Compton didn’t want their house or front yard taken over by some gang members selling drugs. These people were afraid to come out of their own house.”
Even though Brennan and Ladd were Compton Police Officers, they were not particularly upset by “Fuck Tha Police” because they understood N.W.A’s perspective when the group created the song. However, older police officers that came from a generation where people did not talk back to police officers were frustrated by the release.
“When that song came out,” Brennan says before continuing, “I don’t think it bothered us as much because on a daily basis we dealt with these guys. We worked the gangs quite a bit and we kind of understood it. Other places that were further removed, smaller towns across the country, they were more upset. They were worried.”
Brennan also describes how the N.W.A classic brought Compton national recognition.
“It was more of a story to us about their interactions with the police, what they saw everyday, the drive-by shootings the people getting killed, the drugs being dealt. It seemed like everywhere we went, when they released that song ‘Fuck Tha Police’ it was playing throughout the neighborhoods. It went across other parts of the country real quick. No one had ever heard of the town I’d been working in. Then that song came out and that’s what kind of put Compton on the map.”
Watch the full film below: