|Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department|
March 28, 1978 –June 27, 1992
|Preceded by||Edward M. Davis|
|Succeeded by||Willie L. Williams|
Darrel Francis Gates
|Died||April 16,2010 83) (aged|
|Department||Los Angeles Police Department|
|Rank||Sworn in as an officer (1949)|
Chief of Police (1978)
|Awards|| Police Meritorious Unit Citation|
Police Meritorious Service Medal
1984 Summer Olympics Ribbon
1987 Papal Visit Ribbon
1992 Civil Disturbance Ribbon
|Other work||Businessman/entrepreneur,talk-show host,radio commentator|
Daryl Gates (born Darrel Francis Gates;August 30,1926 –April 16,2010) was the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1978 to 1992. His length of tenure in this position was second only to that of William H. Parker. As Chief of the LAPD,he took a hardline,aggressive,paramilitary approach to law enforcement that disproportionately affected black and Latino Angelenos far more often than their white counterparts. Gates is co-credited with the creation of SWAT teams with LAPD's John Nelson,who others claim was the originator of SWAT in 1965. Gates also co-founded D.A.R.E.
After the Rodney King arrest and the riots afterward,Gates retired from the police department. Much of the blame was attributed to him.According to one study,"scandalous racist violence... marked the LAPD under Gates’s tempestuous leadership."
Gates was born in Glendale,California,to a Mormon mother and a Catholic father on August 30,1926;he was raised in his mother's faith. He grew up in Glendale and Highland Park,in the northeastern part of Los Angeles. The Great Depression affected his early life:his father was an alcoholic,and frequently ended up in the custody of the Glendale police. (Later in life,Gates often remarked on the taunts and harassment he received from schoolmates because of his father's behavior.) Gates later wrote that he had a low opinion of the police due to their rough treatment of his father,and at age 16 Gates himself was arrested after punching an officer who manhandled his brother during a parking dispute (Gates apologized and the charges were dropped).
Gates graduated from Franklin High School in Highland Park,and joined the U.S. Navy in time to see action in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After leaving the U.S. Navy,he attended Pasadena City College and married his first wife,Wanda Hawkins. He went on to take pre-law classes at the University of Southern California. After his wife became pregnant,a friend suggested that he join the LAPD,which was conducting a recruitment drive among former servicemen;Gates initially declined,then decided it was a good opportunity. (Gates later finished his degree at USC.)
Gates joined the LAPD on September 16,1949. Among his roles as an officer,he was picked to be the chauffeur for Chief William H. Parker. Gates often remarked that he gained many administrative and professional insights from Parker during the hours they spent together each day.
Gates worked hard to prepare for his promotional exams,scoring first in the sergeant's exam and in every promotional exam thereafter. On his promotion to lieutenant,he rejoined Chief Parker as Parker's executive officer. He was promoted to captain,responsible for intelligence. By the time of the Watts riots in 1965 he was an inspector (overseeing the investigations of,among other crimes,the Manson Family murders and the Hillside Strangler case). By the time of the 1975 special investigation into the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy he was Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.On March 28,1978,Gates became the 49th Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Gates established the specialized unit to become known as SWAT (originally, "Special Weapons Attack Team" but changed to "...And Tactics" for optics) in order to deal with hostage rescue and extreme situations involving armed and dangerous suspects. Ordinary street officers, with light armament, limited weapons training and little instruction on group fighting techniques, had shown to be ineffective in dealing with snipers, bank robberies carried out by heavily armed persons, and other high-intensity situations. In 1965, Officer John Nelson came up with the idea to form a specially trained and equipped unit to respond to and manage critical situations while minimizing police casualties.
As an inspector, Gates approved this idea. He formed a small select group of volunteer officers. His first team was born LAPD SWAT, D-Platoon of the Metro Division. This unit initially comprised fifteen teams of four men each, for a total staff of sixty. These officers were given special status and benefits, but in return they had to attend monthly trainings and serve as security for police facilities during episodes of civil unrest. SWAT was copied almost immediately by many US police departments, and is now used by law enforcement agencies throughout the world.
In Gates' autobiography, Chief: My Life in the LAPD (Bantam Books, 1992), he explained that he developed neither SWAT tactics nor its distinctive equipment. He wrote that he supported the concept, tried to empower his people to develop the concept, and lent them moral support.
Gates made substantial use of the LAPD's Public Disorder Intelligence Division (PDID) squad, even developing an international spying operation. [ citation needed ]The lawsuit CAPA v. Gates, with the Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA) as one of two dozen or so plaintiffs, later sued the LAPD on First Amendment grounds that exposed the unlawful harassment, surveillance, and infiltration of the progressive movement in Los Angeles by LAPD agents. The lawsuit against Gates and the LAPD proved successful. The PDID was ordered to disband, and did so in January 1983. In February 1984, an out-of-court settlement awarded $1.8 million to the named plaintiffs, individuals, and organizations who had sued the City of Los Angeles.
In collaboration with the Rotary Club of Los Angeles, Gates founded DARE, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, designed to educate students and children about the dangers of drug abuse. DARE has become a worldwide organization, with programs in schools across the globe. However, despite the program's wide use, peer-reviewed government-sponsored scientific research has discredited DARE's claimed effectiveness in reducing alcohol or drug use, and the program has seen a 73% reduction in taxpayer funding as a result.
Gates's appointment as chief roughly coincided with the intensification of the War on Drugs. A drug-related issue that had also come to the forefront at the time was gang violence, which paralyzed many of the neighborhoods (primarily impoverished and black or Hispanic) in which gangs held sway. In response, the LAPD set up specialist gang units which gathered intelligence on and ran operations against gangs. These units were called Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH), depicted in the 1988 film Colors . Allegations of false arrest and a general LAPD disdain for young black and Latino men were made.
Gates himself became a byword among some for excessive use of force by anti-gang units, and became a favorite lyrical target for gang-connected urban black rappers, notably Ice Cube. Nevertheless, CRASH's approach appeared successful and remained in widespread use until the Rampart Division scandal of 1999 drew attention to abuses of the law that threatened to undo hundreds of criminal convictions.
Gates became LAPD chief of police a little over two months before the enactment of California's Proposition 13, during a time of tremendous change in California politics. While the LAPD traditionally had been a "lean and mean" department compared with other American police forces (a point of pride for Parker), traffic congestion and continually decreasing officer-to-resident ratios (approximately 7,000 police officers for 3,000,000 residents in 1978) diminished the effectiveness of LAPD's prized mobility. Gates was eager to take more recruits, particularly for CRASH units, when the city made funds available.[ citation needed ]
Gates later claimed that many officers recruited in the 1980s—a period in which the LAPD was subject to a consent decree which set minimum quotas for hiring of women and minorities—were substandard,[ citation needed ] remarking:
... [I]f you don't have all of those quotas, you can't hire all the people you need. So you've got to make all of those quotas. And when that happens, you get somebody who is on the borderline, you'd say "Yes, he's black, or he's Hispanic, or it's a female, but we want to bring in these additional people when we have the opportunity. So we'll err on the side of, 'We'll take them and hope it works out.'" And we made some mistakes. No question about it, we have made some mistakes.
In 1979 Gates helped craft and implement Special Order 40, a mandate that prohibits police officers from stopping people for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration status. The mandate was created in an effort to encourage residents to report crimes without the fear of intimidation or deportation.
Like his mentor Parker,[ citation needed ] Gates publicly questioned the effectiveness of community policing, usually electing not to work with community activists and prominent persons in communities in which the LAPD was conducting major anti-gang operations. At the time of the Rodney King beating, Gates was at a community policing conference. This tendency, a logical extension of the policies implemented by Parker that discouraged LAPD officers from becoming too enmeshed in the communities in which they served, did not serve him well politically: allegations of arrogance and racism plagued the department throughout his tenure, surfacing most strongly in the Christopher Commission report.
Many commentators criticized Gates for Operation Hammer, a policing operation conducted by the LAPD in South Los Angeles. After eight people were murdered at a birthday party in a drive-by shooting in 1987, Gates responded with an extremely aggressive sweep of South Los Angeles that involved 1,000 officers at any given time.[ citation needed ]
The operation lasted several years, with multiple sweeps, and resulted in over 25,000 arrests. This was not unprecedented: during the run-up to the 1984 Olympic Games, Mayor Tom Bradley empowered Gates to take all of the city's gang members—known and suspected—into custody, where they remained until shortly after the Games' conclusion. In the years after the Olympic games Gates, Mayor Bradley and city council officials found a way to continue the sweeping policies initially meant for the duration of the Olympic games by reviving old, anti-syndicalist laws, to jail predominantly black and Latino youth, even though the overwhelming numbers of people arrested were never charged.
As a vast majority of those arrested were never charged, Operation Hammer was roundly criticized as a harassment operation whose chief goal was to intimidate young black and Hispanic men. In a PBS interview, when asked whether the local people in the minority areas expressed thanks to the police for their actions, he responded:
Sure. The good people did all the time. But the community activists? No. Absolutely not. We were out there oppressing whatever the community had to be, whether it was blacks, or Hispanics. We were oppressing them. Nonsense. We're out there trying to save their communities, trying to upgrade the quality of life of people...
A similar operation was conducted in 1988 after a drive-by shooting took the life of an innocent bystander, Karen Toshima, in Westwood Village.
On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was arrested and taken into custody by LAPD officers after a car chase. A bystander, George Holliday, recorded the use of force event on videotape. Gates and his department faced strong criticism in the aftermath of the use of force; Mayor Tom Bradley also called for Gates to resign, but he refused, leading to a stand-off between Gates and the mayor.The Christopher Commission report, issued July 10, 1991, identified a police culture of excessive force and poor supervision, and recommended numerous reforms, as well as Gates's removal. Gates finally announced his intention to resign on July 13, 1991.
The 1992 Los Angeles riots on April 29, 1992 began when a Ventura County jury in Simi Valley acquitted three white and one Hispanic Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King following a high-speed pursuit.
Despite the announcement that the jury was preparing to deliver the verdict in the case against the four officers, the L.A. Police day shift was sent home. After the riots broke out, Gates told reporters that the situation would soon be under control, and left Parker Center to attend a previously scheduled political fundraising dinner. The fund-raising event was part of an effort to fight a city charter amendment on the June 2 ballot that would limit the power and term of the chief.These actions led to charges that Gates was out of touch. General command-and-control failings in the entire LAPD hierarchy during the riots led to criticisms that he was incapable of managing his force. It took the arrival of 10,000 California Army National Guard forces, 3,500 federal troops, and 1,000 federal law enforcement officers to end the unrest over the next six days.
In the aftermath of the riots, local and national media printed and aired dozens of reports deeply critical of the LAPD under Gates, painting it as an army of racist beat cops accountable only to an arrogant leadership. The paramilitary approach that Gates represented resulted in criticism and calls for the LAPD to shift to a community policing strategy.
Gates finally left the LAPD on June 28, 1992, and was replaced by Willie L. Williams,who had been named Gates's successor just before the riots began. A second commission, the Webster Commission, headed by former FBI and CIA Director William H. Webster, was formed in the wake of the riots. Its report, released on October 21, 1992, was generally considered to be scathingly critical of the department (as well as other government agencies) and was especially critical of Gates' management of it.
In 1992, the satiric Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Daryl Gates "for his uniquely compelling methods of bringing people together."
Gates earned notoriety for his controversial rhetoric on many occasions. Some of the most notable examples of this were:
Gates remained professionally active after leaving the LAPD, working with Sierra to create the computer game Police Quest: Open Season , an adventure game set in Los Angeles where gamers play the role of a Robbery/Homicide detective trying to solve a series of brutal murders. He appears in the game as Chief of Police, and can be found on one of the top floors of Parker Center. In addition, Gates had been the principal consultant for Sierra's SWAT series, appearing in them as well. In 1993, Gates was a talk show host on KFI, replacing Tom Leykis. His tenure was short lived but he remained a frequent guest on talk radio, especially in regard to policing issues.
Gates was President/CEO of Global ePoint, a security and homeland defense company dealing primarily in digital surveillance and security technology. He also served on the Advisory Board of PropertyRoom.com, a website for police auctions.
In 1992 he published Chief: My Life in the LAPD, an autobiography, written with the assistance of Diane K. Shah (Bantam Books). The book has details about Gates's career and high-profile cases; the book went to press before the L.A. riots.
After Bernard Parks was denied a second term as Chief of Police by Mayor James K. Hahn in 2002, Gates, aged 75, told CNN that he intended to apply for his old job as LAPD chief.Hahn ultimately appointed William J. Bratton, a former police commissioner of Boston and New York City, to head the department.
On April 16, 2010, Gates died at his home in Dana Point, California, at the age of 83due to complications from bladder cancer.
Gates appeared as himself in season 7, episode 13 ("Fatal Obsession, Part 2") of the television show Hunter .
Gates appears in an uncredited role at the end of the 1997 film L.A. Confidential as a police officer congratulating Ed Exley, the main character.
In the 1998 film American History X , he is mentioned in relation to the application of police brutality to Rodney King.
Gene Hackman based his portrayal of Sheriff Daggett on Gates in the 1992 film Unforgiven . Clint Eastwood biographer Richard Schickel, who was on the set, wrote that Hackman referred to Daggett overseeing Ned Logan's torture as "my Rodney King scene".
In 2004, he appeared in second season of Da Ali G Show in the episode "Respek".
Gates is portrayed by actor Josh Pence in the 2013 film Gangster Squad . In the film, Gates is in his younger years, still a chauffeur for LAPD Police Chief Bill Parker (played by Nick Nolte).
Gates was mentioned in a large number of rap and metal songs in the aftermath of the LA riots. Some of the more notable include Ice Cube's "The Wrong Nigga to Fuck With", which dedicates a whole verse to a depiction of Gates's being decapitated and cooked like fried chicken, and Body Count's "Cop Killer", which caused widespread controversy.[ citation needed ]
In the United States, a SWAT team is a police tactical unit that uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. Although they were first created in the 1960s to handle riot control or violent confrontations with criminals, the number and usage of SWAT teams increased in the 1980s and 1990s during the War on Drugs and later in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. In the United States by 2005, SWAT teams were deployed 50,000 times every year, almost 80% of the time to serve search warrants, most often for narcotics. By 2015 that number had increased to nearly 80,000 times a year. SWAT teams are increasingly equipped with military-type hardware and trained to deploy against threats of terrorism, for crowd control, hostage taking, and in situations beyond the capabilities of ordinary law enforcement, sometimes deemed "high-risk".
Rodney Glen King was an African American man who was a victim of police brutality. On March 3, 1991, he was beaten by LAPD officers during his arrest, after a high-speed chase, for driving while intoxicated on the I-210. An uninvolved individual, George Holliday, filmed the incident from his nearby balcony and sent the footage to local news station KTLA. The footage showed an unarmed King on the ground being beaten after initially evading arrest. The incident was covered by news media around the world and caused a public furor.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), officially known as the City of Los Angeles Police Department, is the municipal police department of Los Angeles, California. With 9,974 police officers and 3,000 civilian staff, it is the third-largest municipal police department in the United States, after the New York City Police Department and the Chicago Police Department.
The Watts riots, sometimes referred to as the Watts Rebellion or Watts Uprising, took place in the Watts neighborhood and its surrounding areas of Los Angeles from August 11 to 16, 1965.
A Los Angeles Police Department C.R.A.S.H. initiative that began in April 1987, Operation Hammer was a large scale attempt to crack down on gang violence in Los Angeles, California. After a group of people at a birthday party were shot down on their front lawn in a drive-by shooting, Chief of Police Daryl F. Gates responded with a roundup of gang members. At the height of this operation in April 1988, 1,453 people were arrested by one thousand police officers in South Central Los Angeles in a single weekend.
The Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) was a specialized unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) tasked with combating gang-related crime between 1979 and 2000. The unit was established in the South Central district of Los Angeles, California, United States, to combat rising gang violence during the period. Each of the LAPD's 18 divisions had a CRASH unit assigned to it, whose primary goal was to suppress gang-related crimes in the city, which came about primarily from the increase in illegal drug trade.
Reginald Oliver Denny is a former construction truck driver who was pulled from his truck and severely beaten during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. His attackers, a group of Black men who came to be known as the "L.A. Four", targeted Denny because he was White. The attack was captured on video by a news helicopter and broadcast live on U.S. national television.
John G. Nelson was an American police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who is considered to be the founding father of the SWAT concept.
The 1992 Los Angeles riots, sometimes called the 1992 Los Angeles uprising and the Los Angeles Race Riots, were a series of riots and civil disturbances that occurred in Los Angeles County, California, in April and May 1992. Unrest began in South Central Los Angeles on April 29, after a jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) charged with using excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King. This incident had been videotaped and widely shown in television broadcasts.
The Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) serves communities to the west of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) including Silver Lake, Echo Park, Pico-Union and Westlake, all together designated as the Rampart patrol area. Its name is derived from Rampart Boulevard, one of the principal thoroughfares in its patrol area. The original station opened in 1966, located at 2710 West Temple Street. In 2008, the staff moved southeast to a newer facility located at 1401 West 6th Street. With 164,961 residents occupying a 5.4-square-mile (14 km2) area, Rampart is one of Los Angeles's most densely populated communities.
Stacey Cornell Koon is an American convicted criminal and former sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department. He is one of the four police officers who were responsible for beating Rodney King in 1991. He was sentenced to 2+1⁄2 years in federal prison in 1993 for his role in the beating.
William Henry Parker III was an American law enforcement officer who was Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1950 to 1966. To date, he is the longest-serving LAPD police chief. Parker has been called "Los Angeles' greatest and most controversial chief of police". The former headquarters of the LAPD, the Parker Center, was named after him. During his tenure, the LAPD was known for police brutality and racism; Parker himself was known for his "unambiguous racism".
Willie L. Williams was the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1992 to 1997, taking over after chief Daryl Gates' resignation following the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Williams was the first African-American Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department and the first African-American Chief of the LAPD. During his term as Chief of the LAPD, he tried to create a positive image of the department and close the rift created between the police and black neighborhoods by the violent arrest of Rodney King in 1991.
Post No Bills is a documentary film on satirical political poster artist Robbie Conal directed by Clay Walker. The movie's title comes from lettering found on many construction walls and other city surfaces, indicating that advertisements or handbills are not to be placed on the surface.
The Los Angeles Police Department was formed in 1869, and has since become the third-largest law enforcement agency in the United States. They have been involved in various events in history, such as the Black Dahlia murder case, and the Rampart scandal.
Special Order 40 is a police mandate implemented in 1979 by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), its Police Chief Daryl Gates and the Los Angeles City Council preventing LAPD officers from questioning people for the sole purpose of determining their immigration status. The mandate was passed in an effort to encourage undocumented aliens to report crimes without intimidation. The first section of the order states:
Officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.
Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of title 8, section 1325 of the United States Immigration code.
Crime in Los Angeles has varied throughout time, reaching peaks between the 1970s and 1990s. Since the early 2020s, crime has increased in Los Angeles as well as elsewhere in the United States.
This article lists examples of the ongoing influence on popular culture of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
The Metropolitan Division, also known as METRO, is an elite division of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The Metro Division, which also contains LAPD's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, contains line platoons of specially trained police officers. It is tasked with numerous crime-fighting duties including solving major crimes, search warrant service, dignitary protection, surveillance, providing counter-terrorism details and attending high-risk barricaded situations, such as a hostage situation.
Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982–1992 is a 2017 American documentary film directed by John Ridley about the decade preceding and including the 1992 Los Angeles riots. It was produced by Lincoln Square Productions, a subsidiary of ABC News, and was released in theaters in Los Angeles and New York on April 21, 2017. A shorter version aired on ABC on April 28, 2017. A rebroadcast of the film took place on June 16, 2020. The film has received critical acclaim.