The first significant deployment of the then newly-established LAPD’s SWAT unit was on December 9, 1969 (5 days after Fred Hampton was shot and killed at point-blank range during a raid for the Chicago Police Department), in a four-hour confrontation with members of the Black Panthers in a densely populated area of Los Angeles. The raid was problematic from the start, leading to a shoot-out in which Daryl Gates phoned the Department of Defense, requesting and receiving permission to use a grenade launcher.
In Los Angeles, the Black Panthers were preparing for an almost inevitable confrontation with the LAPD. Although they were getting ready for what they assumed to be the LAPD, they hadn’t prepared for a well-organized and highly equipped unit to conduct a raid.
The Panthers eventually surrendered, with four Panthers and four officers being injured. All six arrested Panthers were acquitted of the most serious charges brought against them, including conspiracy to murder police officers, because it was ruled that they acted in self-defense.
That entire incident will be the subject of a new Netflix film titled “The Stand Off” which Justin Lin (director of 4 “Fast and Furious” movies and more) is attached to direct, from a script penned by Mark Heyman (“Black Swan”).
The film’s story will unfold from both perspectives (that of the Black Panthers, and the SWAT unit), and explore ramifications of the showdown that are still felt today.
Lin is also producing the film via his Perfect Storm Entertainment company, along with Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe (via their Material Pictures), and Ben Shields Caitlin.
Netflix clearly has no plans to take their foot off the gas pedal.
Deadline was first to announce the news.