BMF: Is Detective Von Bryant Based on a Real Cop?

Randy Huggins’ crime drama show, ‘BMF,’ follows the rags-to-morally-dubious-riches story of two brothers, Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, as they build their own lucrative drug ring in the city of Detroit. Under the brothers’ brains and daring brawn, their gang— which starts as “50 Boyz,” merely in charge of a small section of Ecorse— grows until it actualizes into the Black Mafia Family, one of the biggest crime families across the country. Detective Bryant, the dirty cop in cahoots with Meech, plays an instrumental role in aiding the gang’s establishment through his early collaboration with their leader. Likewise, as the stakes rise, the same cop becomes a considerable threat to the Flenory Brothers, turning from a tentative ally to an all-out enemy.

Therefore, considering the real-life inspiration behind the show’s storyline and several central characters, Bryant’s relations to reality naturally come under audience speculation. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Detective Bryant: Real-Life Inspirations

‘BMF’ brings the true story of the real-life Black Mafia Family to the screen. Characters like Detective Von Bryant retain a basis in reality without being biographical depictions of any specific individual. With the involvement of the real-life Flenory family as producers or otherwise, the show sticks close to authenticity, mining from the invaluable resource of the brothers’ real-life experiences. Even so, as stated by Actor Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory, who portrays the on-screen role of his real-life father, Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory, a portion of the narrative remains fictionally enhanced.

“They [Terry and Demetrius Flenory] definitely have a big input because the story is based on truth, and they want their characters to be portrayed in the way they were,” Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory said in a conversation with Revolt, discussing the real-life Flenory Brothers’ involvement in the show. Yet, the actor also clarified, “You can’t be 100 percent truthful because people will get incriminated, but the story is 90 percent true.”

Consequently, since Detective Bryant’s character— who starts off as a dirty cop and goes on to have his career derailed due to his past actions— partakes in such controversial storylines, the potential real-life inspirations behind the character stand to face significant implications. For the same reason, the character is likely a composite of a number of people from real life, with numerous realistic incidents and events incorporated into one singular character donning a fictionalized name. Therefore, while real-life law enforcement agents who worked on the investigation against the Black Mafia Family became inspirations for Bryant’s character, there aren’t any specific individuals one can single out as real-life counterparts.

For instance, DEA Special Agent Robert Corso, in charge of the DEA Detroit Field Division, played a notable role in the eventual downfall of the Black Mafia Family in real life. Reportedly, the man highlighted the joint effort that went into the drug ring’s prosecution and said, “This drug trafficking organization that brought the devastation of illicit drugs to cities across the nation has been dealt a knockout blow today. The successful investigation and prosecution of the Black Mafia Family was a result of the fine work and coordination of law enforcement agencies at the local, federal, and state levels.”

However, while Corso and Bryant share their legal pursuit of the Black Mafia Family and the Flenory Brothers, the two share almost nothing else in common. Nevertheless, since most of the other lower-ranking officers and detectives involved in the case were rarely recorded by history, it’s near-impossible to infer a concrete parallel. Alternatively, outside of real-life resemblance to cops with direct involvement in the Black Mafia Family investigation, Detective Bryant occupies a realistic space within the narrative by showcasing an authentic portrayal of police corruption.

Police integrity and corruption remain notoriously difficult phenomena to collect data for due to the frequency of unreported misconduct. Yet, according to USA Today, the 2010s saw the investigation into 85,000 law enforcement officers for misconduct. Thus, the statistic presents a startling reality about police corruption across the country, providing context for Bryant’s misguided affiliations with the Flenory Brothers. For the same reasons, Bryant’s earlier storylines retain a level of realism even outside of the character’s connection to the Black Mafia Family. Ultimately, the character remains rooted in reality as a result of the show’s true-story inspiration. Still, no specific real-life counterpart can be established for the character.

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