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Police departments across Los Angeles are increasing their patrols and units throughout the weekend as a precautionary measure related to the Straight Outta Compton film opening.
“We will be increasing our patrols for the weekend,” Los Angeles Police Department Officer Naoria Vanegas tells The Hollywood Reporter. “In recent months, we’ve seen a lot of violence at movie theaters and it’s a concern for Los Angeles,” she said, referring to the July 23 Trainwreck shooting in Louisiana that left three dead, including the gunman, and the Aug. 5 Tennessee theater shooting.
“We don’t expect anything to happen, but we want to be prepared,” Vanegas says. “We know there’s a possibility for rival gangs to be at the same time at the same place, and that could be a bad recipe.”
Officer Vanegas tells THR that officers will be undercover in some locations, and it is up to individual stations’ commanding officers whether the increased units are on foot, in a vehicle or undercover.
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Trina Schrader says that coverage countywide increases — she did not speak to a specific area — when a film is expected to draw large crowds.
“Any movie or movie theater that has a lot of people coming, if there is a lot [of people] in the theater, as a heads-up or for crowd control, that’s something that we do anyway,” Schrader says of increased patrol coverage.
Straight Outta Compton follows the rise and fall of gangsta rap group N.W.A. The film is produced by former N.W.A members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, among others, and stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. as his real-life father, Ice Cube; Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre; Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E; Aldis Hodge as MC Ren; and Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella.
On Wednesday, Universal Pictures announced that they would help “support” extra security in some theaters playing the F. Gary Gray-directed film. “The studio has not solicited enhanced security for theaters who will begin showing it this weekend, but has partnered with those exhibitors who have requested support for their locations,” a Universal spokesman said.
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Jon M. Chu