Tuesday, October 4, 2016

the last book I ever read (The Run of His Life: The People vs. O. J. Simpson, excerpt two)

from The Run of His Life: The People vs. O. J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin:

Parker and his wife never had children, and the chief remained aloof from most of his colleagues on the force. He did, however, take a special shine to the young officer who was assigned to be his personal chauffer—Daryl Gates. Together the two men refined a theory of “proactive policing,” which featured relentless confrontations between heavily armed officers and the hostile populations they patrolled. Parker and Gates came of age in an era when white cops didn’t have to rein in their feelings about African-Americans. When Watts exploded in 1965—a rebellion set off by a confrontation between a black motorist and a uniformed officer of the California Highway Patrol—Parker compared the black rioters to “monkeys in a zoo.” A year later, a black man named Leonard Deadwyler was rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital when he was stopped by police for speeding. In the ensuing confrontation, the unarmed Deadwyler was shot dead. “Police are not supposed to stand by and watch a car speeding down the street at eighty miles per hour,” Parker explained. “[The officer] did something he thought would successfully conclude a police action. All he is guilty of is trying to do his job.”

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