Denzel Washington’s Workout Day Character Was Inspired By This Corrupt LAPD Cop
“Training Day” follows Denzel Washington’s Alonzo Harris, a senior narcotics officer who takes a budding rookie (played by Ethan Hawke) under his wing to see if he has what it takes to survive the streets. Unfortunately, the young detective doesn’t share the veteran cop’s enthusiasm for pocketing drug money found at crime scenes, and all hell breaks loose.
Interestingly enough, Washington’s character was based on Rafael Pérez, a disgraced officer who was arrested in 1998 after it was discovered he had stolen $800,000 worth of drugs and fabricated the evidence. The cop, who was a member of the LAPD’s outrageous Rampart Division, was known for his aggressive behavior, which he displayed by shaking down gang members and stealing loot from other officers who shared his predilection for corruption.
Perez got off lightly in the grand scheme of things, however. The disgraced officer accepted a plea deal in the year 2000, which saw him implicate 70 other rogue cops for an assortment of crimes, from drunken work to murder. Perez’s testimony also led to the overturning of more than 100 false convictions, forcing the city of Los Angeles to pay more than $125 million in settlements.