The LAPD deployed gang enforcement officers to provide extra security at Monday night's downtown Los Angeles premiere of "Straight Outta Compton," a biopic of the rap group N.W.A. -- just in case.
As moviegoers, fans and celebrities descended on L.A. Live for the film's big-screen debut, the LAPD had "several officers" on patrol including special events officers from the department's Central Bureau, Officer Mike Lopez said.
"We want everybody to enjoy the event," Lopez said, adding that no credible threat warranted the beefed-up police presence. "Better safe than sorry," he said.
Private security patrols from L.A. Live were also assigned to cover the event. As of 10:30 p.m., the premiere had gone off without a hitch, Lopez said.
The film, named after N.W.A.'s breakthrough 1988 album, follows the rise of the seminal gangsta rap group from the streets of South L.A. and Compton.
Law enforcement's place in society is a key theme, foreshadowing tension that would boil over in the L.A. riots. Some scenes show the strained relationship between police and those in urban neighborhoods, with officers harassing characters. And N.W.A. was often at odds with police over its controversial lyrics, which critics said glamorized violence and gangs.
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