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Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson is the main protagonist of the S.W.A.T. franchise. He is the leader of one of the LAPD's S.W.A.T. teams. Hondo is portrayed by Steve Forrest in the 1975 TV series, Samuel L. Jackson in the 2003 film, and Shemar Moore in the 2017 TV series.
In the original 1975 TV series, Hondo is portrayed as a Lieutenant on S.W.A.T..
The 2003 film portrays Hondo as a Sergeant.
In the 2017 TV series, Hondo, portrayed by former Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore, is the title character.
A native of South Los Angeles, Daniel Harrelson was born to Daniel Harrelson, Sr. and Charice Harrelson; he also has a sister, Winnie. When he was a kid, his father left the family after falling in love with another woman and moved to Oakland, California, where he eventually had another daughter, Briana. Hondo and his dad remained in touch, going up to live with him during the summers of his teenage years. As a kid, Hondo and two of his best friends Leroy (Michael Beach) and Darryl ran with a gang, but after Darryl's death, Hondo went to high school and eventually joined the force.
After high school, Hondo enlisted in the United States Marine Corps; he served four years (1994 to 1998) with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and deployed to Somalia. Upon leaving the Marines, Hondo joined the Los Angeles Police Department. Hondo began his LAPD career as a patrol officer with the 77th Street Area. He served as a patrolman for six years before becoming a member of SWAT. By 2016, he was serving as a Senior Lead Officer on Sergeant Buck Spivey's (Louis Ferreira) SWAT Team. He knows everyone in the neighborhood and treats them all with respect, and they usually give him information pertinent to his cases when he asks for it in return.
In 2017, Hondo was unexpectedly promoted to Team Leader after Buck was fired for accidentally shooting an unarmed black teenager during a shootout over senior team member Sergeant Deacon Kay (Jay Harrington) in a blatant attempt to ease the tensions between the community and the LAPD.
Four months prior to the series, Hondo began a surreptitious romantic relationship with Captain Jessica Cortez (Stephanie Sigman), which, while frowned upon, was not expressly forbidden by LAPD policy; however, after his promotion to Team Leader (which put him directly under her command), the two struggled to keep their relationship secret. Hondo ultimately broke up with her after they were caught by Commissioner Michael Plank (Peter Facinelli) in order to protect her career. He later started a relationship with Nia Wells (Nikiva Dionne), a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and recent divorcée.
In "Invisible", after failing to secure a good foster family for Darryl Henderson, the teenage son of his incarcerated friend Leroy, Hondo decided to apply to become Darryl's official foster father.
As a SWAT officer, Hondo drives a 2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit and carries a Kimber Custom TLE II in .45 ACP as his duty weapon.