LAPD

Daryl Gates: the Last Emperor of the LAPD

Daryl-gates-head-shot

On Friday morning, when I posted about the death of former LAPD chief Daryl Gates,
I made a point of erring on the side of the positive. It has, after all, been 18 years since he was forced to resign and the man did undeniably have accomplishments. However, after I read the guest post about Gates at LA Observed by former LA Times police writer, David Cay Johnston, a flood of Gates era memories began to surface, and I realized I had more to say.

Johnston is a respected and award-winning reporter and his piece on Daryl Gates is a must-read for those interested in LA history. It is also hair-raising.

It opens like this:

When Daryl Gates ran the LAPD from 1978 to 1992 he also ran a worldwide political spying operation. And he lavished time on it, sometimes several hours each day, including all the dossiers and reports he got on the lawful activities of L.A. leaders, elected and not, as well as political and religious groups he suspected were up to no good.

To those reading this who doubt I invite you to carefully read Gates’s 1992 autobiography where he boasts about some of this.

The above is about the mildest thing in Johnston’s essay. In the 4000 words that follow, he really gets down to business.

Reading what Johnston wrote triggered my own memories of the us-versus-them climate that Daryl Gates both created and tacitly sanctioned within the department.

My reporting in and around the Pico-Aliso housing projects of Boyle Heights brought me into regular contact with Gates-driven policing only during the last two years of of the man’s reign (tenure is too tepid a word). Yet it was enough. Multiple times, I saw the aftermath of beatings delivered by LAPD officers when they caught adolescents who ran from them, or who were perceived to have given them lip. Mostly it was just cuts and bruises, but sometimes there was more to it. I remember in one case, with a kid named Guadalupe Lopez,—Scoobie” for short—in addition to the bruises, teeth were broken. Then he was let go with no arrest. Just the broken teeth.

In another case, with a kid named Fuji Estrada there was an arrest. However the injuries he sustained in the course of said collar (according to him, while he was handcuffed) appeared bad enough that the intake folks at Eastlake Juvenile Hall refused to admit Estrada until officers took him to the hospital so that doctors could check to see if his bruises and labored breathing indicated something medically ominous.

Not that the kid wasn’t lawbreaking and wily, he was. Injuries notwithstanding, at the hospital while he was being readied for an X-ray, he managed to talk his way into an unescorted trip to the bathroom, from which he escaped the place altogether, out a window, I think it was, and disappeared barefoot down the street, hospital gown flapping in the wind. (His then probation officer, the legendary Mary Ridgway, and I discussed the escape with liberal dollops of black humor on more than one occasion.)

Eventually, the police rearrested Fuji Estrada and he was again injured in the course of the arrest. Records indicate that he was once more taken to the hospital. This time he did not escape.

In those days in the projects, teenage boys and young men were perpetually afraid of being driven by cops to “the factories”—the section of commercial buildings just north and west of Pico Gardens, that was deserted at night, thus a place where a lawbreaking kid—or a guy suspected of lawbreaking—could be “sorted out” without much danger of interruption.

To try to combat the beatings, neighborhood mothers began calling each other, phone tree style, the minute officers stopped any of the community’s young men. The women would appear in apartment doorways, like magic, to silently watch what was happening—the message being, “Whatever they have done, or you think they have done, these are our children. You do not have the right to abuse them. If you do, we will know.”

Sometimes complaints were filed. But I don’t remember any of them going anywhere.

In January of 1991, around 175 projects mothers demanded to have a meeting about the abuse with some LAPD brass but, although the meeting was held, it changed nothing. Around this same time, the then head of Hollenbeck Division, Bob Medina, told an LA Times reporter, “These people understand only one thing, and that’s force.” It was an ethic that started at the top.

I realize all this will, to some, sound quite extreme— at best, apocryphal. It almost sounds unbelievable to me as I write it. The world of the Los Angeles Police Department is so different now. But, back in those days, a sense of entitled brutality on the part of a certain slice of the LAPD force, was simply part of the wallpaper for the poorest and most violence ridden of East and South LA’s communities. To residents of those neighborhoods, the only thing that was unique about the Rodney King beating was the presence of a video camera.

Please understand, I don’t for a moment suggest that all or even most officers engaged in this kind of behavior. But neither was it simply a few rotten apples. Even officers who have since left the force and, in a couple of cases, guys who were still on the force, have over the years told me cautious stories of how it was in those bad old days:

“It’s better that I’m no longer a street cop,” a grizzled Hollenbeck detective said out of the blue at the end of a long afternoon I’d spent with him in the summer of 2000, when I was reporting on a particular murder case. He was a dedicated, hardworking cop whom I quite liked, despite our obvious political and philosophical differences, and I asked him what he meant. He shrugged. “Truthfully, I liked it when we used to be able to beat people up. We can’t do that any more.” I stared at him slack-jawed. “Yeah, yeah, I know,” he said seeing my expression. “You’re a liberal. I’m not saying it’s right. But I’m just being honest.”

Beatings weren’t the only thing that were permitted to happen under Gates. There were other, less straightforward forms of abuse:

For instance, in the early 1990s, I documented an instance in which officers drove young men whom they perceived as gang members into “enemy” territory, forced them out of the car and announced their outsider presence over the patrol car’s loud-speaker system.

Actually, I documented two instances, but the second was engineered by the Housing police officers who then patrolled Pico-Aliso and had begun to ape their LAPD counterparts. In the incident with the housing cops, along with a couple of community mothers, I saw the two young men minutes after they managed to dodge pursuers and make it back to their home territory, both sheet-white and truly terrified. (By the way, I know both of them to this day. Both are working men and dads who live far away from the projects. Both still remember the fear of that afternoon.)

The LAPD instance involved four boys and was much more prolonged, with much taunting, much threatening, some alleged beating. In the end, this group of boys got out of the car, as ordered, but became so alarmed they begged to be let back in. Finally, the second of the two officers relented. Unlike the situation with the homeboys and the housing cops, the four had been taken into territory where there was such fresh and virulent enmity that they were assuredly in life threatening peril.

I heard about the incident after the fact, and spent a week interviewing neighbors who had witnessed various parts of the occurrence, parents of the boys and siblings who saw the bruises that night, and the boys themselves. As with the other case, the boys were not charged with anything. It was pure harassment. And it could have been deadly.

After the incident, two of the boys’ mothers called the LAPD and filed written complaints. But, as was usual, nothing came of it.

Multiple times, I tried everything I could think of to get the officers involved to comment on the incident. Neither would talk to me. One officer—the lead in the situation— was killed in the line of duty about a year later. The other, the guy that let the boys back in the car, has since left the force and, despite the incident is, by most other accounts a decent man. I have always wondered what he would say about that night now.

I am not suggesting that Daryl Gates knew about such occurrences specifically. But I am saying he created a climate in which they were allowed to happen without any kind of consequence or sanction.

As I said before, Gate’s had his good points. He loved the force, in his own autocratic way. He made the rank and file feel he had their backs—unlike, say, Bernard Parks, who drove officer morale into the abyss. Like Bill Parker before him, Gates had no tolerance for fiscal corruption. But his way of doing business promulgated what his once Assistant Chief David Dotson called expediency corruption—the do-whatever-you-got-to-do ethic that flourished on his watch, and continued for years after his departure. An organizational culture, once created, takes years and years to alter.

There are other stories to tell. But this is a long post already and it covers most of what I needed to say. Make of it what you will.

The LA Times’ Jim Newton and my dear pal and expert LAPD watcher, Joe Domanick and the Times’ Patt Morrison have their own takes on Daryl Gates in this past Sunday’s newspaper. LA Observed’s Kevin Roderick drew his own conclusions on the man on KCRW, Friday afternoon.

59 Comments

  • Your absolutely correct Celeste, Chief Gates was just a product of his times, acting as he was taught by his mentor, the very racist and brutal Chief William Parker, who created the LAPD as a paramilitary force, protectors of the white race, occupiers and Cossacks in the Mexican American and Black parts of LA. LA County Sheriffs shared the same cultural outlook by the way.
    Gates was no worse or better than his predecessors, he was just unfortunate in that his tenure was at a time when the media was more liberal or at least, less likely to cover up or ignore the excess’s of the LAPD like they had been doing for many years.
    I’m old enough to remember when the LA Times, the Examiner, the Herald Express, TV talking heads like George Putnam, Jerry Dunphy and others, used to feature daily film reports, headlines and photos of Blacks and Mexican Americans who were suspected of criminal acts. Every article and news item would describe the suspect as “A Negro gunman”, “A knife wielding Mexican”, “Suspects thought to be Mexicans”.
    All this fear mongering was aimed at the then majority white community’s, who felt protected and safe, they didn’t want to hear about the brutal street justice and license to kill and maim that the LAPD meted out on the darkies in their “areas”.
    As a Mexican American from the LA Eastside I could tell a hundred stories about LAPD brutal and murderous behavior, and anyone honest enough and from the working class neighborhoods of Los Angeles could tell a hundred more. The LAPD and it’s Chiefs like Darryl Gates were just doing the bidding of the LA white majority power structure of the times, protecting the middle and upper class white areas of the city, given the power and a green light to act with impunity to control and maintain order at any cost to the minority communities. Law and justice for all? Or as they used to say, Just Us!

  • Johnston’s dispatch is fascinating and far more fitting than much of the papered-over tripe I’ve seen the past week. I second Celeste’s recommendation.

  • I told Celeste I would post something on Gardner pleading out and since there’s no thread regarding it I’m putting it here.
    ——-
    Brent King, Chelsea’s father, also made a brief statement to reporters.

    “We stand here because of a despicable, evil act committed against our beautiful daughter, Chelsea, committed against our family and committed against our community,” he said.

    “The decision whether to give our blessing to the district attorney’s proposal was torturous,” King said. “While our unequivocal first choice is the death penalty, we acknowledge that in California that penalty has become an empty promise.”

    King said a multi-year court proceeding would have had a destructive effect on their 13-year-old son, Tyler.
    ———–

    Brent King did the right thing. Anytime one of you want to ever actually debate the death penalty step up.

  • SureFire, you know that you and I don’t agree about the death penalty in general. But thank you for the thoughtful post. And it’s not just the way that the death penalty is administered, with its endless delays, that would have been torturous. As Chelsea’s father points out, all our court proceedings now stretch out over years.

    Among no good choices, Mr. King did do the right thing by his son. Evil, indeed.

  • The endless delays don’t have to be Celeste. I said I would debate anyone here or on any blog regarding the death penalty. The way appeals bounce back and forth between state and federal courts has made it impossible to enforce it and “endless delays” are thanks to obstructionists hoping to abolish it.

  • Woody Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 7:47 am

    I heard that Gates was a good husband…

    …….

    To his first or second wife, both marriages having ended in divorce?

  • Mavis, the PPL doesn’t agree with your assessment that the stuff the MSM has posted is “paper-over tripe,” by which I assume you mean, overly generous. They reprint an article by “Jack Dunphy”/PajamasMedia (perennial Bratton critic, from a conservative POV, I might add) about what he feels was a hatchett job in their (long!) editorial. (Probably written at least in big part by Jim Newton, per his OWN signed Op-Ed.) It’s actually quite harsh, but nowhere near as much so as this report by Johnson, which has some quite shocking revelations OR allegations, depending on one’s POV. (Since he’s won a Pulitzer I tend to take him at his word.) Using “buff” young undercover cops to seduce women over a period of time until they gave up information, sounds over the top and certainly illegal – but it’s not clear how often this happened, if it was an aberration.

    The Times unsigned piece DOES conclude that Gates was a man they’d want on their side during a war, but not during peacetime (since in his mind, the LAPD was always at war). The fact that Gates opposed community policing, and inspired fear but little trust or cooperation, certainly did seem to make him unsuited to being Chief – a battalion commander, maybe.

    The fact that he wouldn’t go quietly, making term limits necessary, may or may not be a good thing: it would have been great to have Bratton stay on, or maybe Beck, IF they do a good job, instead of having them forced to look for their next job while being Chief if they’re still ambitious. (I imagine Beck will retire with a nice pension, but what about a younger cop, or another outsider without a big pension accruing?)

  • It’s sad that many wives can’t deal with the stress of a husband serving in public safety. And, to think, too, that Gates had more honor than most lawyers.

    FBI Study on Police Stress:

    With regard to police suicides, the prelude symptoms include divorce, increased use of alcohol (not necessarily alcoholism), depression, and a failure to get help. “Police officers going through a divorce are five times more likely to commit suicide than an officer in a stable marriage.

    The national divorce rate is 50 percent. All research shows police officers suffer a substantially higher (divorce) rate with estimates ranging between 60 and 75 percent.”

    Where’s the compassion and support for our police? I’d like to see some of the people complaining about Gates to have tried to have done his job back then.

  • Who are you talking to, GJ? Me? I’m responding to Woody. He said Gates was a good husband. Two divorces? Really? Wasn’t the second wife a flight attendant half his age? Nothing wrong with that, but I mean, when you look at the fact that it ended in divorce? I don’t know if good husband is the best way to describe this guy.

  • Woody, Gates was retired when his second wife divorced him. And the stress he had in the latter stages of his career was brought on by himself, for being a bad chief. It wasn’t the everyday stresses of his job. It was him being a flawed leader.

  • Johnson’s on Which Way LA? tonight @7:30 according to LAO which had the original post – and now has some complaints about the piece being used without appropriate credit (NOT from here, of course).

  • Rob, why do you think that all police are pigs? Why do you have to attack their personal lives? Why do you blame a policeman for a divorce when his wife can’t deal with stress or is a gold-digger?

    And, if you hold this one policeman responsible for so many problems, shouldn’t we blame the entire police system? And, if the entire police system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can say whatever you want, but I’m not going to sit quiet and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!

  • Woody, somebody had to correct you, because you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. Good husband? Two divorces? Gates was about as good of a husband as he was a chief.

  • The Tibetans have an ancient practice called sky burial where the body is dissected and left at designated places for the vultures to feed on. I respectfully submit that the Tibetan practice is more civilized than the process RT is carrion out on Chief Gates. Forgive the word play. It seemed so apropo.

  • Now there’s the type of personal attack you’ve made trademark. Thanks. May I have another? [Editors note: comment this referenced is gone.]

  • Let’s play: “Who Said It”?

    “I think that if you look at the record a lot of the criticism of President Bush was way over the top. In my opinion President Bush was a sincere man doing his best to protect our country and he has my eternal gratitude for that”.

    Anybody….Anybody….Bueller….Bueller

  • Gava Joe, your comment was a personal attack, too. You called me out, you just tried to be all slick about it.

  • ATQ, tell us what issues you agree with the Democratic Party on, and I’ll tell you who said that about Bush.

  • Gava Joe Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    The Tibetans have an ancient practice called sky burial where the body is dissected and left at designated places for the vultures to feed on. I respectfully submit that the Tibetan practice is more civilized than the process RT is carrion out on Chief Gates.

    Gava Joe Says:
    April 18th, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I only viewed Daryl Gates from a great distance, but even that obscure view aligned him with the bigoted lead head cops of days past; Bull Connor is a terrific doppleganger for your deceased ex-chief.

  • Woody, I didn’t get past the first sentence, where you were accusing me of attacking Gates, so I missed the Animal House reference. What can I say. Fucking hilarious, dude.

  • From Wiki

    [edit] Differing views of conservative Democrats
    Some see conservative Democrats as usually more centrist and moderate. Some Conservative Democrats believe in social programs (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid). Some want all Americans to have health care coverage and guaranteed pensions, and are vehemently opposed to the idea of privatizing any of these institutions. Their ideas about marriage, abortion, and, to an extent, the death penalty, and Gun Control are sometimes more compatible with the Republican way of thinking. This viewpoint is supported by the Pew Research Center and their study “Beyond Red Vs. Blue” [2]. This study identifies Conservative Democrats as one of three core Democratic Party constituencies (the other two being Liberals and Disadvantaged Democrats). Conservative Democrats are distinguishable by staunch liberal views on economic issues (a populist orientation setting them apart from conservative Republicans and explaining their continued allegiance to the Democratic Party), with their moderate to conservative views on other issues:

    Some people just can’t believe such persons can exist. If those people who refuse to believe they exist would get outside of their small echo chambers and actually educate themselves, they wouldn’t make themselves look foolish by claiming people can’t have differing opinions within the same party.

  • ATQ, I’m asking you what views you consider yourself a Democrat on. The answer is obviously none. But keep playing this game. It’s funny. I actually like how people still call themselves Democrats. How small can the tent be if people are still jocking them?

  • Celeste,
    I guess you must have deleted the comment where I said I would not respond to Rob’s bomb throwing. Either that or he missed it. I guess you deleted it because I said he isn’t capable of intelligent debate, he just wants to antagonize and instigate. He obviously doesn’t comprehend that I’m ignoring him either. Keep in mind I’m doing this to try and maintain some semblance of civility on this blog.
    How long until you think he gets it?

  • you know , this blog has really turned into the Rob Thomas show. it’s pretty disgusting that you can’t seem to make one comment on here without being attacked by Rob, unless your name happens to be Reg or Don Q. hell, the guy even attacks Celeste at times.
    i don’t comment here much anyway, i mostly read but i think i’m about done here. this blog has gone to shit.

  • Why anyone responds to Rob is beyond me. He’s made about 10 comments directed at me in various threads since I wrote him off as the troll he is, and I could care less what he says, he’s not ever getting an answer. Now he’s and expert on Gate’s marriages along with knowing more about gangs than Celeste.

    Rob Thomas is a far left shill and that’s about it.

  • From a record number of votes to the mid forties in popularity in a short 15 months. And how about those congressional ratings?
    For the people who want the neo-libs in my party to keep mashing the gas pedal, you’ll be sorry when the car goes off the cliff.
    You know, like Scott Brown.
    There’s been a bunch of “Danger, Slow Down” signs that are being ignored. They’re called polls. Instead of reading the signs, some people like to claim the people putting the signs up are crazy.
    Keep it up. Keep speeding straight toward the cliff. Then you can bitch and whine when the car goes over come November.
    President Clinton was smart enough to read the signs.

  • Answering The Question Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    From a record number of votes to the mid forties in popularity in a short 15 months.

    …………..

    ^^ Anyhow, the polls don’t affect the record number of votes he got. He hasn’t gone from a record number of votes to anything, unless you can demonstrate that 70 million people would not vote for him this election, factoring in all population figures, etc. The only way to determine that his number of votes will decrease is to wait for the ’12 election results. If he loses in ’12 it won’t even matter to you how many votes he got…oh, even though you’ll be voting for him, wink wink. If he wins in ’12, yet with a lesser number of votes than in ’08, sure, you’ll be able to say he got less votes, is less popular, etc, but what the fuck will it matter then?

  • # Answering The Question Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    For the people who want the neo-libs..

    …………..

    What’s a “neo lib”?

  • Answering The Question Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    President Clinton was smart enough to read the signs.

    ………..

    Explain this one, too. What signs? Clinton ran against Bob Dole in 1996. Just what signs to Clinton need to read in order to beat Bob Dole?

  • From Gallup
    April 12, 2010
    Presidential Job Approval

    Latest three-day average shows a decline to 45% approval, 48% disapproval
    President Obama’s job approval rating for the week ending April 11 stands at 47%, the lowest of his administration so far, and his latest three-day approval average is at 45%, also the lowest of his administration

  • Monday, April 19, 2010
    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 29% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11

  • Rasmussen Congresional Poll

    Republican candidates now hold a 10-point lead over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot, tying the GOP’s high for the year recorded the second week in March and their biggest lead in nearly three years of weekly tracking.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of likely U.S. voters would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate, while 36% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent

  • Congressional Job Approval
    Poll Date Approve Disapprove Spread

    RCP Average 4/5 – 4/12 22.8 71.2 -48.4

    APress/GfK 04/07 – 04/12 28 70 -42

    Gallup 04/08 – 04/11 23 73 -50

    CBSNews/NYTimes04/05-04/12 17 73 -56

    FOX News 04/06-04/07 21 72 -51

    GWU/Battleground 04/05-04/08 25 68 -43

  • Instant kryptonite to Obama haters, for anyone interested. Just ask them what Republican they think will beat Obama in ’12. Ask them to name someone specifically. The only challenge from there is trying not to laugh.

  • ATQ, I don’t know if I deleted your comment. I don’t remember one way or the other. It’s possible. When I get a string of quarrelsome comments sometimes I delete too quickly, and some that don’t necessarily deserve it vanish too.

    Also, ATQ, you and Rob need to slow down the serial posting. With very, very rare exceptions, neither one of you needs three or four posts in a row. It causes people to tune out—both from anything that you two have to say, and from the thread in general. It’s like two people monopolizing the conversation at the dinner table. After a while, everyone loses interest.

    In other words, both your points—and the conversation in general— would be better served if you posted less.

    Thank you.

  • Celeste, what is serial posting? And, blaming us for people tuning out now, are we? Isn’t that like when a comedian gets mad at the audience for not laughing at his jokes?

  • Celeste, don’t you want to sign the Legacy on-line guest book as a final respect to Daryl Gates?

    He may not have always been right, but he always did what he felt was right.

    Thank you for the D.A.R.E. and S.W.A.T. programs, they set the first high standers of education and police protection.

    From my point of view the L.A.P.D. is a department to be envied because of Chief Gates. A leader will always receive criticism. If not, the person isn’t doing they’re job. Thanks Chief for doing your job!

    Gates is an American hero and he should be remembered as such.

  • I don’t buy that, Rob. There are psychos who have no value system and don’t know right from wrong, but there are others who do evil, usually out of selfish motives, and they know it’s wrong but do it any way. A thief knows that stealing is wrong but still does it.

    Have you ever done something that your conscience told you not to do but you did it anyway? Isn’t that how a lot of teenage dates turn out?

  • Well that’s just it, they’re psychos. They don’t know what they’re doing. I’m not talking about some lunatic on the street who punches you and tells you there’s a marshmellow shortage.

    As far as someone knowingly doing evil and admitting it, name one state sponsored leader, like Gates, as an example. Gates thought he was right. So did Cheney/Bush. The victims of their abuse can tell you a different story.

    As far as individuals, common folks with no real position of leadership, doing things that are wrong and knowing it? I don’t see that either. Usually when everyday people do rude things, they tend to rationalize and attempt to justify it. “he’s in the fast lane, if he wants to drive that slow, he needs to move to the right”. Sure. But did that give them the right to terrorize him and put his and their lives at risk by driving right on his bumper? Neither the law or anyone’s perceived man upstairs would think so. But they’ve convinced themselves they were right. They’re in a hurry. Slow drivers need to stay to the right. They thought they were right. The difference between someone like them and Gates is that Gates victimized a large population of society, on a daily basis, for 15 years. Yet, like the tailgater, Gates “felt” he was doing the right thing.

  • And just how would “D.A.R.E.” set the “first high standard” for education? Whoever wrote that didn’t dare to stay off of drugs, obviously.

    S.W.A.T setting the first high standard for police protection doesn’t make a lot of sense, either. According to whose standard? The S.W.A.T. team isn’t designed to protect anything. It’s designed to attack. The “A” in the name originally stood for attack, but was changed when concerned citizens questioned rather it was law enforcement’s role to attack citizens. The SWAT team is a military unit that’s really unconstitutional, but it’s one of the many illegal aspects of law enforcement that Americans have turned the other cheek from, probably in fear of being put on Gates political enemies list and having to deal with the SWAT themselves.

    The LAPD to be “envied”? Envied by who? Hopefully by criminals, right? Is there anyone else a police department should be competing with?

    “A leader will always receive criticism. If not, the person isn’t doing they’re job”

    Guess all cops don’t have masters degrees. “Their” would be more applicable. And as far as the point goes, I wasn’t aware it was anyone’s job to get criticism, either. I’d say that having a goal of getting criticism and having a goal of avoiding it are equally as dangerous, in their (or, they’re) own right. I think this point reveals a lot about Gates and his supporters. They were after some people other than criminals, unfortunately.

    “Gates is an American hero”. No surprise there.

  • A casual user of what? Drugs? Gates was probably a casual user himself. That guy was never threatened by drugs. He was threatened by dark people. And since there were drugs wherever there were dark people, he used drugs as an excuse to go after them.

    As far as being under the control of stimulants, the cops who beat King looked as if they were higher than he was. Savage beatings like that are usually the result of drug use.

  • For the “casual” reader, lol, 51 was a response to a since deleted comment. No need to say by whom. We’ll let sleeping dogs lie.

  • Come on Celeste I’m being polite. No swearing just throwing a little something back in the same manner the Poster of 1000 Questions does.

    What harm is there in that?

  • Rob, I wasn’t criticizing you, I was making a joke at my own expense. In other words, my deleting isn’t always done with scalpel-like precision. There’s a weed-whacker quality to it, and no doubt I take out some of the plants at the same time.

  • Celeste, no offense taken. Delete away. lol.

    SF, it’s not my fault a lot of comments here call for a thousand questions. When someone leaves a loaded comment with a thousand questionable points, I try to address as much of it as I can. It’s just the way I think.

  • My dad told me when I was a kid to question everything other than your boss at work and your wife. You’re neither of the two, SF.

  • Gates was a cop’s cop, venerated by the rank and file. He was forward-thinking, amazingly innovative, innately decent, and he kept LA safer in a bad time than any other chief could have. The world has lots of haters, and this thread more than it’s share, but those are the facts about Chief Gates. May he rest in peace.

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