For the past twenty years one man has had full responsibility for supervising the enforcement of the law in one of the toughest cities in the world: Los Angeles. That man, who may know more about law enforcement than anyone else, is Chief Daryl F. Gates. Now for the first time, Gates tells the explosive story of his four decades in the LAPD in the same straightforward style that has earned him the reputation as America’s most effective top cop.
Creator of the first police SWAT team as well as the highly praised DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, Daryl Gates has earned respect as an innovator and pioneer in law enforcement and as the chief of the most effective police department in the country. But his aggressive style of policing, his outspoken–sometimes outrageous–opinions on crime and criminals, and his clashes with the political elite and the media have made him no stranger to controversy.
In Chief Gates looks back at the headline-making events in which he played a pivotal role: the Watts riots, shootouts with the Black Panthers and the SLA, the investigations of the death of Marilyn Monroe and the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the Patty Hearst kidnapping, the Hillside Strangler investigation, security at the 1984 Olympics, and the ongoing charges of police brutality from the Eulia Love case to the LAPD’s controversial “choke-hold” to the now infamous videotaped beating of Rodney King.
Here, with a candor that may surprise even his harshest critics, Gates takes us into the inner sanctums of both the LAPD and the mayor’s office to reveal the power struggles, ego clashes, and media manipulation behind the search for the facts in the Rodney King investigation.
Gates also discusses his fight against L.A.’s violent street gangs, his feud with the ACLU, and the secret files he is rumored to have kept on numerous prominent citizens. He speaks openly of his painful and troubling relationship with his son, Scott, a convicted felon and former heroin addict, as well as the personal impact that the Rodney King case has had on his own life. And he presents his seven-point program for keeping our streets–and all of us who walk them–safe.
During his forty-three years as an L.A. cop, Gates has been bitten by a street hustler, protected presidents, crossed swords with politicians, and gone to the mat with the media. A powerful friend and ally, he is also a formidable and unforgiving foe. But whether recalling his tough working-class childhood, reliving his days as a beat cop on L.A.’s meanest streets, or setting the record straight with an old political rival, he always speaks his mind.
Chief is as controversial and candid as the man himself.