Friday, November 24, 2017
History Counts for Something
By Danny J. Bakewell Jr. (Contributing Editor)
Published April 23, 2009

Naming or renaming the NEW police administration building after the old racist Chief of Police, William H. Parker is just straight up, plain old, flat out WRONG!

Would anyone recommend that we name a building after chokehold teaching, hog-tying, shoot first and ask questions later, everyone abandon Florence and Normandie and let the rebellion begin Police Chief Darryl Gates? Well, let’s remember Darryl Gates was/is the next generation of William H. Parker. Since this controversy erupted, I have had several conversations about this and often I have been told, “I am too young to remember the antics of the former chief.” Well, the truth is, no I am not.

Yes, it is true that Chief William H. Parker ended his reign as L.A.’s top cop the same year I was born (1966), but the truth is every Black and Brown man living in Los Angeles and in many other parts of this country have had to live with the white supremacist, suppressive and rogue attitudes of his department for years. How many Black men (and women) have been beaten, wrongly incarcerated and even killed based on the mentality and teachings of William H. Parker, which then funneled its way to Darryl Gates. It almost took an act of God to get rid of Chief Gates.

Well, there appears to be a new way of thinking at LAPD. A new way of thinking which started under former Chief Willie Williams, gained momentum under former Police Chief and now City Councilmember Bernard Parks and is now fully in effect under current Chief William Bratton. So why do we want to go back, why do we want to honor the past, a past of corruption, and a past that while honoring Chief Parker spits directly in the face of all the African Americans who Parker either directly or indirectly spit on during his reign as chief?

Since this commentary is going to come out the day after the City Council meets, I can only hope that this madness ends. It should end with my friend Councilmember Parks rescinding his motion to name the building after Parker and the entire city council should unanimously instruct the Police Commission or General Services with the charge of coming up with a new and improved name for the New Police Administration Building which will be reflective of the New and improved attitude of The Los Angeles Police Department.

Let me know who else you think is ready to assume the leadership mantle within our community. Let me know if there are any other issues we need to address or stories we need to tell. Let me know what is on your mind, I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”


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