Born Monday 30 August 1926, died Friday 16 April 2010
Occupation: Public Servant
They have the ability to take a person's freedom from them. On certain situations, they have the ability to take a person's reputation. And under certain circumstances, they have the authority to take a person's life.
No police department should hire more quickly than they can assimilate the people that they bring in, and we did. I take responsibility for it. It was the first opportunity I had to hire, and I wanted to do it, and I take responsibility.
No one knew what Rodney King had done beforehand to be stopped. No one realized that he was a parolee and that he was violating his parole. No one knew any of those things. All they saw was this grainy film and police officers hitting him over the head.
Our people went out every single night trying to stop crime before it happened, trying to take people off the street that they believed were involved in crime. That made us a very aggressive, proactive police department.
It was a department where you had honesty and integrity stamped right on you when you came into the Los Angeles Police Department. If you violated that, or if you were a dishonest cop, you were terrible. We got rid of you as quickly as possible.