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Race and Policing

(x)To Protect and to Serve: L.A.P.D. Culture
Faced with gang warfare and dramatically changing city demographics, the L.A.P.D.--a small, highly mobile police force--had to adapt quickly, adopting new strategies and expanding its membership. Current L.A.P.D. Chief Bernard Parks, former Chief Daryl Gates, and former president of the Police Commission Gerald Chaleff reflect on the changing face of the L.A.P.D., and speculate on why the reputation of a highly respected and effective force became tarnished by allegations of corruption and criminal behavior.
(x)The Legacy of Rodney King
The 1991 videotaped beating of Rodney King by L.A.P.D. officers, and riots triggered by the acquittal of the officers involved, rocked L.A. and the nation. The events brought to the forefront concerns about racism and police brutality within the L.A.P.D.. Some, including former L.A.P.D. Police Chief Daryl Gates, say the way Los Angeles responded to these events helped set the stage for the Rampart scandal. Here are the views of Chief Gates; Judge Larry Fidler; current L.A.P.D. Chief Bernard Parks; Gerald Chaleff, former President of the L.A. Police Commission; and Gregory Yates, L.A. civil rights attorney representing Rampart clients in civil suits.
(x)Live from Death Row
The Rampart scandal unearthed rumors that some off-duty police officers with gang ties were working as security for Death Row Records, the successful rap music label. Death Row produces "gangsta" rap, a subgenre of rap music which celebrates the gang lifestyle--including drug dealing, drive-by shootings, and other street violence. Since its inception, rumors have linked Death Row with an extensive catalogue of real-life criminal activity, up to and including murder. The F.B.I. has conducted at least one investigation to the label's ties with illegal drugs. This article, featuring a prison interview with Death Row president Suge Knight, examines the suspect activities of the label and its artists.
(x)Race, Rap, and the L.A.P.D.
In "L.A.P.D. Blues," the recurring rhythm of L.A.'s west-side rap presents a political perspective of a racist and oppressive L.A.P.D.--a viewpoint rooted in the Department's history of racial relations and policing practices. Here are some excerpts from lyrics of songs from FRONTLINE's "L.A.P.D. Blues" soundtrack.


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