A Conversation With Detective David Quinn of TV One’s Hit True-Crime Show ATL Homicide
TV One’s hit true-crime show ATL HOMICIDE airs Mondays at 9 P.M. ET/8C. Viewers will dive into some of Atlanta’s grittiest cases solved by thirty-year Atlanta PD veteran Detectives David Quinn and Vince Velazquez. The dynamic duo recounts their past homicide investigations and reminisce on their quest to put heinous murderers behind bars. Real-life interviews are paired with dramatic re-enactments from actors Angelo Diaz who portrays David Quinn and Christopher Diaz as Vince Velazquez.
ATL HOMICIDE is produced for TV One by Wide Net Productions and Jupiter Entertainment. Executive Producers for Wide Net Productions are Sedg Tourison and Rob Kerr. For Jupiter Entertainment, Patrick Reardon serves as Executive Producer, and is Ashley Overton is Supervising Producer. For TV One, Susan Henry is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.
Hustle and Soul Magazine got an exclusive interview with Detective David Quinn.
When you first pursued a career in law enforcement, what impact did you want to make?
Detective Quinn: I just wanted to serve my people in the black and brown communities. I wanted to go back to where I grew up because I saw a lot of my cousins get knocked in the head back in the 70s. It was part of my family tradition to go visit our family members who were incarcerated. Since I was 6 years old I had this on my heart to be a police officer and at the ripe age of 20, that’s what I did.
You’re retired now correct?
Detective Quinn: Yes, for two years now. I did 33 years of serving.
Thank you so much for your service. How did your involvement with the TV show come about? Did you get approached or did you pitch the network?
Detective Quinn: All of the above. My partner Vince is more than a partner, that’s my brother. He and I use to get the media to help solve our cases. You know with some cops around the country it’s a secret if they don’t have all the answers. We would go on TV and say we don’t know what’s up. We need help, we need auntie and unc, or someone who knows what’s up to help us out.
That started something and the media felt we were so crunk, especially me in particular because I’m loud and crazy. From that, we started building a following. When we retired, a producer that we knew from years before quit his day job to pitch our show and got us the deal.
Your energy is authentic, you’re passionate about what you do, and your chemistry on the show is so amazing. Is it easy or hard for you to share these stories that shaped your career?
Detective Quinn: It’s therapeutic for someone at my age. I started when I was 20 and I was always in those neighbors that the world calls marginalized. That was where I worked and served. I saw a lot of suffering from our people and alot of times at the hands of our people. I hope that when me and Vince tell these stories that we touch police officers around the world.
We call what we do investigative transparency. We don’t own the homicides and the city of Atlanta doesn’t have ownership over this kind of pain. The sharing of information is key. Telling these stories had cops reaching out to us stating that they never thought about doing it that way. We just surrender ourselves to it. It’s like church.
From your perspective and from the reactions over the seasons, do you feel as if the show has played a hand in decreasing the crime rate in Atlanta and has more people began to speak up about cases?
Detective Quinn: I think that a lot of people in our constituency is the Atlanta citizen. The ones that are sometimes invisible from the rest of the world. Those people legitimize what we were doing out there. What we did in particular as young pups in the homicide unit was maintain the security and confidence of the people who had to go into court and testify.
We were in situations where we didn’t want them to get exposed to early. You’ll find in some of the episodes that we sent cabs out to get people. That was before Uber, 20 years ago, out of our own pockets. Vince started doing that and then I started following suit. You figure out what you can do to maintain the integrity of the investigation ad protect the citizens.
For new viewers who will be tuning into ATL Homicide, what do you want them to take from it?
Detective Quinn: That the police department has a responsibility to you as a victim, as a witness, as someone who has suffered the loss of losing a family member or close friend. You have a part in the process.
We don’t even give alot of energy to black people who have survived gun shootings. They are victims too. I want people to understand that they have a platform. Anyone can walk into a precinct or city hall if they are not getting served properly. This is your community, you pay taxes, and you have access. Hold them accountable.
What do you want the ATL Homicide TV Show influence and legacy to be for the black and brown community?
Detective Quinn: I want the black community to understand that we have our own pandemic which is gun violence. I hope that by the end of our run, we can make those sounds and noises because black and brown people have our own community that doesn’t always include the mainstream all the time.
Alot of people don’t know this, but my son was shot at the height of the pandemic. He survived though he will have some physical challenges that affect everybody. It doesn’t escape me. When I got this horrible news and went down to a police station I got horrible service. I think they were intimidated by me, but I was demanding. I hold them accountable because I want the same sympathy that all our black and brown brothers and sisters need when they become victims of gun violence. They need to be included with those who pass on. There are a lot of debilitating injuries and life changes as a result of gun violence in our community. We have to figure that out. I want to be a part of that. I want to start that conversation and make it broad. Lets’ figure out what’s going on in our communities.
For more information on ATL HOMICIDE, visit TV One’s YouTube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on www.tvone.tv.