L.A. Story: How TV Series S.W.A.T. Approaches A Timeless Topic

EP Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and S.W.A.T. star Kenneth "Kenny" Johnson.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

Showrunner Aaron Rahsaan Thomas is making sure that S.W.A.T. has both sense and sensibility.

By Fred Schruers

When Aaron Rahsaan Thomas set out to reboot the legendary pulp classic of a mid-'70s cop show called S.W.A.T., there was a key and specific change he began with: "A lot of people may not realize this," he says, "but the original show was not set in Los Angeles, but in a fictional city. The very first S.W.A.T. team was created in Los Angeles, the city that has perhaps the most notorious relationship between their police department and communities of color. I feel like if you're going to tell that story, you lean right into that—what is the reality of a Black police officer in the city of Los Angeles?"

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