Controversial former LAPD Police Chief, Daryl Gates is dead from bladder cancer. He was best known for his mishandling of the Rodney King incident, where cops who were videotaped beating the motorist were acquitted, prompting the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Pop the hood.
[He] generated controversy with gaffes about Latinos, blacks and Jews, most famously with a remark about blacks faring poorly under police chokeholds because their physiology was different from that of “normal” people.
After forensic experts said there was no such difference between races, he apologized.
He also made disparaging comments about Latinos and once told a congressional committee that drug users should be shot — even though he later acknowledged that his own son had a long drug history.
Mr. Gates’s police career began to unravel with the 1991 beating of King, which was videotaped by a man in a nearby apartment after King was pulled over for speeding. The video of the prolonged beating was televised, and audiotapes of the officers making racist remarks about the incident were made public.
Although Mr. Gates criticized the officers’ actions, he dismissed them as an aberration. Critics said they represented a pattern of abuse directed at minorities under Mr. Gates’s watch.
When the officers were acquitted April 29, 1992, one of the worst outbreaks of civil unrest in Los Angeles history erupted. Six days of violence left more than 50 people dead, more than 1,000 injured and 600 buildings damaged or destroyed.
Gates was 83.