INTERVIEWEE: BRADLEY NICKELL
Here, Country Squire Magazine’s Dominic Wightman interviews American Detective and crime writer, Bradley Nickell. Out of high school, Bradley Nickell spent almost four years in the United States Air Force, working on the super-secret SR-71 and U2 spy planes. In the last two years of his military service, Bradley also worked as a Reserve Police Officer in Marysville, California. In 1992, Bradley joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and was promoted to detective in 1999. For sixteen years, Bradley was assigned to the Repeat Offender Program, specialising in identifying, catching, and helping convict career criminals who prey on the citizens of Southern Nevada. In 2015, Bradley left the detective bureau and returned to uniformed duty in part to reconnect with the community he has long served and also to begin transitioning towards retiring from law enforcement and the grind of being on-call 24 hours a day as a detective. Although still a police officer, Bradley is a credentialed member of the press and has written several law enforcement-themed features for American COP Magazine, POLICE Magazine, and PoliceOne.com Bradley has been interviewed on TruTV (formerly Court TV) as a subject matter expert, multiple times on local Las Vegas television, and numerous times on broadcast and Internet radio programs. Bradley’s debut true-crime thriller, Repeat Offender, was released by WildBlue Press in April 2015.
Q: What is going on in the US at the moment? Us Brits look on incredulously at these police murders. What’s behind it?
It’s a complicated combination of several things. In my opinion, there are two things that are the greatest cause. First, we have the proliferation of oftentimes incomplete, or inaccurate information regarding police use of force incidents. Just go to YouTube and you can find a variety of clips showing police use of force, including deadly force. Most of these are clips that show portions of what happened, or even edited versions that do not tell the whole story, and often paint officers in a bad light. These clips often go viral and to the average person not trained in use of force law, bring outrage. Second, we have a failure in the news media to vet factual information before it is broadcast to the masses. They’re more interested in being first to report, rather than being correct.
Q: Has Obama helped or worsened the situation?
President Obama has taken many opportunities to quickly criticize law enforcement actions without being in possession of complete information. He has repeatedly sympathized with activists and never once publicly stated he was incorrect in his assumptions that law enforcement had done something wrong. I, personally, have spoken publicly on radio programs and social media asking the President and others to volunteer for police use of force training, so they can be informed critics. These requests have fallen on deaf ears. So, in a few words, he has made matters worse.
Q: Are #blacklivesmatter genuinely an anti-racist group or closer to a terror outfit?
I believe there are followers of the group who are genuine in their pursuit of bridging racial gaps. However, if you do your own research, you’ll find that the founders and most of the leadership of the group are socialist reformers cloaked in a cause that incites an emotional response from the public. They’re akin to the Black Panthers of the 1960s and 1970s.
Q: What is the solution for peace? What should Trump be doing?
I believe the solution, and President-Elect Trump can be a leader in this, starts with people of all colours personally deciding that change will happen when we all become post-racial. We must stop identifying ourselves through the prism of race and just become one people, united in our desire to see everyone succeed.
Q: Policing in the US is far more dangerous on a daily basis than over here in the UK. Is that all about guns?
I don’t think so. A gun is only dangerous in the hands of someone wanting to do harm to others. There are many ways to bring violence and destruction to others besides guns. I think it’s a societal thing that starts with the lack of accountability for bad actions. Criminal behaviour is too often met with slaps on the wrist from the U.S. justice system. For someone to eventually be incarcerated, they have burned many opportunities to reform and live productive lives.
Q: What are your prize scalps as a law enforcement officer?
I’ve been a cop for over twenty-five years, sixteen of those as a detective. Most of the memories of serious events I’ve been involved with over the years seem to blur together. I’ve never chased glory, so having a catalogue of memories of these isn’t a part of my personality. But the one case I’m proudest of, and it was also the biggest case of my career, is the case I wrote my true crime book, Repeat Offender, about.
Q: What inspired you to write your book Repeat Offender?
First, I’ll make note that I never planned on being a writer. I had no aspirations to write publicly. I was living my dream of being a public servant, protecting the innocent. Then the case of Daimon Monroe came across my desk. It was the biggest thing we’d ever seen in Las Vegas…unprecedented. As the investigation unfolded, it seemed a Hollywood screenwriter was writing the story. I knew someone had to tell the world about this case. Who better than the detective who led the investigation?
Q: What is the book based on?
Here’s the logline for the screenplay adaptation I’m writing. It pretty much sums it up:
Based on a true story, millions in stolen property, revolting sex crimes and murder-for-hire were all in the mix for Las Vegas Detective Bradley Nickell as he toiled to take career criminal, Daimon Monroe, off the streets for good.
Q: What future writing plans do you have?
My publisher has been knocking on my door, asking me to continue writing books. Many readers have asked for their appetites to be satisfied. I’m inclined to write more books, but for now, I’m focused on learning the art of screenwriting. I’m writing the feature film adaptation of Repeat Offender now and I’m pleased with it. The writing is challenging in some ways to that of writing a book, but I’m happy with the freedom I have in developing some of the characters in the screenplay that wouldn’t have been right for a true crime book.
Q: If there is one thing you can teach us Brits from your law enforcement career what is it?
I wouldn’t say this is exclusive for Brits, but for all people…live your life in service to others. This is where joy can be found.