The opening scene is a doozy: Tom Bradley, the black mayor of Los Angeles, faces an angry crowd just after the acquittals in the Rodney King beating trial. "Say what you gonna do," a fat woman bellows. "It's your police department. Say what you
gonna do!" Little does the crowd realize the power of the LAPD. Joe Domanick goes back to the 1930s to find the roots of that power, and takes readers through the history of what he calls "a quasi-military organization ... outside of the democratic system of checks and balances." Domanick has a brisk, energetic prose style. In his hands these stories of antilabor squads and Red baiting, dragnets and "robocops," generate so much suspense, reading To Protect and to Serve
is almost like watching a movie. And, as the Los Angeles Times
writes, "While Domanick unearths much dirt about the LAPD leaders, To Protect and to Serve
excels at drawing fair, empathic, multidimensional portraits of their lives." This book was the winner of the 1995 Edgar Award for best fact crime.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In a tradition dating back to the 19th century, the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department had life tenure and was therefore arguably accountable to no one, not even to the police commission. How that situation, reformed only in 1992 in the wake of Daryl Gates's handling of the Rodney King affair, protected the careers of police chiefs of the likes of William Parker (Watts riot of 1965) and Gates is the thrust of this dramatic study by freelance writer Domanick. He delineates the hold of the white, conservative, largely Protestant establishment on the City of Angels, who allowed the police department to run the city like an army of occupation, brutalizing minorities. The mayor, city council and police commission alike, shows Domanick, ignored or at best minimally curbed abuses by the police force. But with the riots of 1992, LAPD reforms were finally established under Charter Amendment F. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.