Book Explores the Troubled History of Los Angeles Police

Reforming the LAPDJoe Domanick, the Author of Blue, on the Battle to Redeem American Policing

A new book explores the history of reform in the Los Angeles police department. With community/police relations a national topic of discussion, what can we learn from the changes the LAPD has implemented? 

via “All Things Considered” on NPR

High-profile, officer-involved fatalities across the country have put police departments everywhere under more scrutiny than ever.

For a lesson in how to move forward, they could look at the history of the Los Angeles police.

In the ’80s and ’90s, Los Angeles was trapped in a cycle of crime, crack and gang warfare. Investigative journalist Joe Domanick says back then, the Los Angeles police just made things worse with its crime-fighting strategy — which involved using military-style tactics to subdue and arrest suspects, who were mostly from minority neighborhoods.

“It was a really disastrous policy,” Domanick tells Weekend All Things Considered guest host Tess Vigeland. “And the people in those communities reacted to that kind of policing. That and the beating of Rodney King led to [the] ’92 riot.”

In his new book Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing, Domanick profiles the players and events that has transformed the agency.

He says the real turnaround started when former New York Police Commissioner William Bratton took over the department in 2002, and started advocating community policing.

Read More/Listen to the Author Interview on NPR

Blue by Joe Domanick

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