Essay on Ethical Deviance: The LAPD and Los Angeles Riots

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The beating of Rodney King from the Los Angeles Police Department on March 3, 1991 and the Los Angeles riots resulting from the verdict of the police officers on April 29 through May 5, 1992 are events that will never be forgotten. They both evolve around one incident, but there are two sides of ethical deviance: the LAPD and the citizens involved in the L.A. riots. The incident on March 3, 1991 is an event, which the public across the nation has never witnessed. If it weren’t for the random videotaping of the beating that night, society would never know what truly happened to Rodney King. What was even more disturbing is the mentality the LAPD displayed to the public and the details of how this mentality of policing led up to this…show more content…
Los Angeles witnessed a high amount of drug incidents and violence, which arose from the increasing drug problem. Unfortunately as the same time the nation witnessed a rise in the drug problem, it also saw a rise in police brutality. Throughout Los Angles and America there were many cases of police beatings, but there wasn’t any case that received as much attention and media coverage as the Rodney King incident. On the night of the Rodney King beating, “amateur video camera enthusiast, George Holliday, shot footage of LAPD officers beating a twenty-five year old African-American man following a traffic stop” (Alpert p.131). The question raised is why did something like this incident happen? In order to answer the question, a review of the police department is necessary. At the time of the Rodney King beating Daryl Gates had been the police chief of Los Angles for thirteen years. Chief Gates had power over the departments’ policies and personnel, and “his position was well insulated by unique civil service protections” (Alpert p.134). Chief Gates was recognized as someone who was professional and innovative on new ideas to enforce the law. He adopted militaristic technology as equipment to use in the streets. One example of the new technology was the motorized police battering rams, which were essentially tanks

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