Blue : The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing
Overview - An award-winning investigative reporter reveals the troubled history of the LAPD in a gripping story filled with hard-boiled, real-life characters that bring to life the ravages of the criminal justice system. Vividly drawn and character-driven, Blue is simultaneously a drama of cops, crime and politics, and a primer on American police policy and reform. Read more...
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More About Blue by Joe Domanick
An award-winning investigative reporter reveals the troubled history of the LAPD in a gripping story filled with hard-boiled, real-life characters that bring to life the ravages of the criminal justice system.
Vividly drawn and character-driven, Blue
is simultaneously a drama of cops, crime and politics, and a primer on American police policy and reform. Using the LAPD as the book's spine and through-line, Domanick illuminates urban policing at a crossroads during the tumultuous violence-plagued years of the early 1990s. Years when the beating of Rodney King and the LAPD's brutality sparked the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, and police departments were caught between an often brutal, corrupt and racist past, and the demands of a rapidly changing urban population and environment.
From LA he then zooms to New York City, and details how the transformation of the NYPD that resulted in a dramatic decrease in crime--even while the LAPD remained in freefall for a decade more before it too begins its road to reformation. Blue
ends in the summer of 2014 with crime at record lows, but events in LA, NYC and Ferguson, Mo., raising alarming warnings about aggressive racial profiling and the militarization of American policing.
Filled with political intrigue and cultural and racial conflict, Domanick's fast-paced account distills this history through the vivid characters that shaped it, from America's premiere police reformer, William J. Bratton; to Daryl Francis Gates, Chief of the LAPD during fourteen of the most tumultuous years in LA's history; to Charlie Beck, a street-hardened LAPD cop who later becomes Bratton's protege; to Alfred Lomas and Andre Christian, former members of two of LA's most fearsome gangs, who represent the other side of the LAPD's war on crime.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Racial conflict, urban violence, and big-city politics tangle in this intricate, incisive study of reform in the Los Angeles Police Department. Investigative journalist Domanick (Cruel Justice: Three Strikes and the Politics of Crime in America's Golden State) starts with a lengthy account of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, sparked by anger in black and Latino neighborhoods over the beating of Rodney King and the police brutality it symbolized. He follows two decades of efforts to reform the LAPD's harsh, racially biased, militarized policing style while coping with gang crime in minority communities. This task was impeded by obstructionist brass and the Rampart scandal, which revealed that officers routinely beat and shot unarmed suspects, concocted false arrests, and resold stolen drugs. Domanick recounts this sprawling, complex story well, showing events through the eyes of a varied cast of police officials, street cops, civil rights leaders, and "gang interventionists" whom he credits with helping lower the temperature and body counts of gang wars. The book's central figure is police chief William Bratton, who reenergized stalled reform initiatives while lowering crime rates. Multifaceted, even-handed, sharp-eyed, and plainspoken, this gripping narrative is one of the best investigations yet of the explosive issue of police relations with minority communities. (Aug.)