To Protect and to Serve

To Protect and to Serve

The LAPD's Century of War in the City of Dreams

Book - 1994
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
A history of the Los Angeles Police Department from the thirties to the nineties examines its persistent reputation for brutality and corruption and its role in the devastating riot following the verdict in the trial of Rodney King

Blackwell North Amer
Why did the city of Los Angeles erupt in flames over the police beating of a black man named Rodney King? How could the worst American insurrection of the twentieth century take place under the nose of the most powerful and omnipresent police department in the nation? How could even Mayor Tom Bradley - a twenty-one-year veteran of the LAPD - fail to change the force's sacred credo:
Give no slack and take no shit from anyone. Confront and command. Control the streets at all times. Always be aggressive. Stop crimes before they happen. Seek them out. Shake them down. Make that arrest. And never, never admit the department has done anything wrong.
Joe Domanick brings a historian's perspective and a novelist's eye to this story of the LAPD in its mythic years, a force canonized by "Dragnet" as America's Cops. He brings us the real story behind the City of Angels, first known as "Peoria with palms" and settled by the sons and daughters of the American heartland.
In the years before World War II, James E. Davis was police chief. His blue-gray eyes stared out like two piercing bullets, leading a reporter to comment that "even if he hadn't been a policeman, you'd wonder if you had forgotten to hide the body." During his reign the LAPD began writing the book on big-muscle law enforcement. But it was his successor, William H. Parker, who built the force into the formidable corps that Joseph Wambaugh called the New Centurions.
Bill Parker, so unbending that Star Trek creator and ex-LAPD officer Gene Roddenberry was said to have based the character of Spock on him, ran the department during the 1950s - the LAPD's golden age. Los Angeles was then a buttoned-down community where a family could go out for dinner at Bob's Big Boy and leave its doors unlocked. And Chief Parker could boast that "the Police Commission doesn't run the police department. I run the police department." But, as the cataclysmic social revolution of the 1960s ripped the nation apart and transformed Los Angeles, nobody in the LAPD seemed to notice - least of all a man named Daryl Gates, the heir to the throne. For the LAPD, it was business as usual: hit the streets and eliminate the lice.
The result was that, by the early 1990s, the LAPD was hated in South Central as passionately as any cracker-filled sheriff's department has ever been hated in the deepest heart of Dixie. How did a small police force become such a formidable dynasty - and the most powerful public institution in the city? How has the LAPD, for most of the twentieth century, intimidated so many public servants and set its own iron-fisted agenda? Why, during the L.A. riots, was Mayor Tom Bradley locked in mortal, epoch-defining combat with Chief Gates and the ghost of Bill Parker?
By the end of To Protect and to Serve, the answers are all too apparent.

Baker
& Taylor

A history of the Los Angeles Police Department from the thirties to the nineties examines its persistent reputation for brutality and corruption and its role in the devastating riot following the verdict in the trial of Rodney King.

Publisher: New York : Pocket Books, c1994.
ISBN: 9780671751111
0671751115
Branch Call Number: 363.20974 DOM
Characteristics: xiv, 497 p., [8] leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at OPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top