Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD

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Westview Press, 1999 - History - 706 pages
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In the Spring of 1992 five days of rioting laid waste to South Central Los Angeles, took scores of lives, cost the city more than $900 million in property damages and captured the attention of horrified people worldwide. Lou Cannon, veteran journalist, combines extensive research with interviews from hundreds of survivors, offering the only definitive story behind what happened and why.Official Negligence takes a hard look at the circumstances leading up to the riots. Cannon reveals how the videotape of the brutal beating of Rodney King had been sensationally edited by a local TV station, how political leaders required LAPD officers to carry metal batons despite evidence linking them to the rising toll of serious injury in the community, and how poorly prepared the city was for the violence that erupted.
  

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User Review  - jtedhunt - LibraryThing

This is probably one of the most important books on police culture ever written. Lou Cannon was extremely through, accurate and fair in his presentation of the culture that hosted perhaps the most ... Read full review

Official negligence: how Rodney King and the riots changed Los Angeles and the LAPD

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Washington Post journalist Cannon believes that the four Los Angeles Police Department officers prosecuted in 1992 for beating black motorist Rodney King "were scapegoats for the Los Angeles riots ... Read full review

Contents

DREAM CITY
3
TRIAL BY VIDEOTAPE
20
THE DRAGNET LEGACY
51
OFFICIAL NEGLIGENCE
76
LATASHAS SHIELD
108
CHRISTOPHERS COURSE
121
KARLINSWAY
148
JUDICIAL NEGLIGENCE
174
PRESUMED GUILTY
373
PLAYING THE RACE CARD
401
THE OTHER VIDEOTAPE
430
THE THIRTEENTH JUROR
462
SECOND JUDGMENTS
488
BACK TO THE FUTURE
527
JUDGMENTS AND LEGACIES
564
EPILOGUE
607

BEYOND THE VIDEOTAPE
193
JUDGMENT AT SIMI
215
ANATOMY OF A BREAKDOWN
263
NIGHTMARE CITY
303
AFTER THE FALL
347
NOTES
621
BIBLIOGRAPHY
673
INDEX
689
Copyright

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Page 74 - Chief of Police Parker appears to be the focal point of the criticism within the Negro community. He is a man distrusted by most Negroes and they carefully analyze for possible anti-Negro meaning almost every action he takes and every statement he makes. Many Negroes feel that he carries a deep hatred of the Negro community. However, Chief Parker's statements to us and collateral evidence such as his record of fairness to Negro officers are inconsistent with his having such an attitude.
Page 372 - Why? How can I? The past is the present, isn't it? It's the future, too. We all try to lie out of that but life won't let us.
Page 62 - Governor Smith, as President of these United States, with all the resources at his command, will be able to give the people of the United States a picture of the real social conditions under the present so-called prohibition laws. If, as a result of careful study, he can evolve a plan for the regulation and control of the liquor question -in a way that will absolutely prevent the return of the saloon, eliminate bootlegging, with its accompanying evils graft...
Page 604 - It has been uniform and constant in the federal judicial tradition for the sentencing judge to consider every convicted person as an individual and every case as a unique study in the human failings that sometimes mitigate, sometimes magnify, the crime and the punishment to ensue. We do not understand it to have been the congressional purpose to withdraw all sentencing discretion from the United States district judge.
Page 101 - we may be finding that in some Blacks when [the chokehold] is applied the veins or arteries do not open up as fast as they do on normal people," he was reflecting the sentiments of the white dominant culture of law enforcement in Los Angeles.

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About the author (1999)

Lou Cannon, a longtime political reporter and White House correspondent for The Washington Post, was the paper's Los Angeles bureau chief from 1977 to 1980 and again from 1991 to 1993. He is currently a special correspondent for The Post in the West.

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