SOUTHLAND, a raw and authentic look into a Los Angeles police unit, from John Wells. From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East L.A., this fast-moving drama takes viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families. John Cooper (Band of Brothers' Michael Cudlitz) is a seasoned Los Angeles cop assigned to train young rookie Ben Sherman (The O.C.'s Ben McKenzie). And although Cooper's harsh, tell-it-like-it-is approach often leaves Ben questioning whether he has what it takes to be a cop, he remains on the force.
From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East Los Angeles, this fast moving drama takes viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families. In the series premiere, seasoned police officer John Cooper and his rookie trainee Ben Sherman respond to a call that leaves Ben questioning whether or not he has what it takes to become a police officer. Meanwhile, homicide detectives Lydia Adams and Russell Clarke race against the clock in the search for a missing girl who may have been abducted. Gang-squad detectives Nate Moretta and Sammy Bryant hunt for a witness after an innocent victim is gunned down in a drive-by shooting. One of the witnesses, a teenage girl named Janila (guest star Carla Jeffery), seems unafraid to aid in their investigation, even though her cooperation might prove dangerous. Her information leads to a raid by burned-out police officer Dewey (guest star C. Thomas Howell) and his partner, Chickie Brown.
When officers John Cooper, Ben Sherman and Chickie Brown rescue a baby girl found crawling across the middle of an L.A. intersection, the hunt for her mother begins. Detective Lydia Adams finds herself affected by the search, taking a personal interest in reuniting the baby with her mother. Officers Sammy Bryant and Nate Moretta are unable to find the financial resources to put a juvenile witness in police protection after an attempt on her life and must now convince the district attorney to place her in a student police program. And back at the station, everyone gathers for a retirement party for Dewey (guest star C. Thomas Howell).
Ben reveals details of his past to the department therapist and to his partner, John, making the motivation behind his decision to be a cop clear. Elsewhere, Dewey (guest star C. Thomas Howell) causes a rift in his relationship with his partner when he becomes star struck by Timmy Davis (guest star Tom Sizemore), a famous, self-obsessed actor. But when he loses track of the actor, Chickie finds herself questioning her decision to take him on as her partner.
Gang detectives Sammy and Nate have their work cut out for them when an unidentified female is found dead in the middle of a Los Angeles alley, her body being used for target practice by gang members. The tension mounts for Nate when his little sister disappears, revealing a secret from his past that blindsides Sammy. Meanwhile, Russell is offended by Lydia’s suggestion that he has been too personal during a consult with a victim’s sister.
After a car accident involving alcohol, Detective Salinger has his gun stolen by gang members. Sammy and Nate assist in the search for the weapon without calling it in, only to discover gangs are equipped with enough assault weapons, bullet-proof vests and military tactics to become a powerful urban street army. Elsewhere, still preoccupied with her personal life, Lydia is caught off guard when a man surprises her outside her home.
Lydia and Russell investigate jewelry thieves who have been robbing Bel Air homes. Ben discovers that he knows one of the home invasion victims and finds himself breaking police policy by becoming personally involved. And gang detective Sammy decides to ensure the safety of a key witness (guest star Carla Jeffery) in a gangland trial by taking her to his home. John Heard guest-stars as Ben’s father.
The day takes a turn for the worse when officers John, Ben, Chickie and Dewey (guest star C. Thomas Howell) find a gang member dead in a trunk outside Dodger Stadium. Meanwhile, Sammy convinces Lydia to take in Janilla (guest star Carla Jeffery) in order to ensure her safety. And Sal becomes increasingly frustrated with his growing rift with his teenage daughter.