Yorty, Sam

Mayor Yorty defends the LAPD & Chief Parker 2 weeks after the August 1965 Watts Riots

Price: $35.00

Description:
(1909-1998) Colorful Mayor of Los Angeles 1961-73. US Rep. (D) 1951-55, endorsed Nixon over JFK in 1960. Elected Mayor as a populist, advocated expanded freeway network and oversaw the emergence of Los Angeles as a major city. A strong anti-Communist, outspoken opponent of civil rights movement, busing and feminism. Disaffection with high unemployment and racism contributed to the August 11-17, 1965 Watts Riots, his administration criticized for failing to cooperate with efforts to improve conditions in affected neighborhoods. After the riots and a failed 1966 gubernatorial bid his politics drifted rightward. He had always categorically rejected any criticism of the city's police or fire departments, even after the riots, but his White middle class support fell after he was embroiled in the controversy following the assassination of Robert Kennedy at LA’s Ambassador Hotel in June 1968. Yorty became a Republican after anti-Vietnam War candidate George McGovern won the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination and was defeated for re-election in 1973 by Tom Bradley. He hosted a TV talk show for 5 years, lost bid to unseat Bradley in 1981 and retired from public life. 11 x 8 ˝ TLS on letterhead as Mayor, September 2 1965, to a Van Nuys man, thanking him for his “…encouraging communication of support, not only for myself but for our splendid Police Department, headed by Police Chief Parker.” Mayor Yorty considers Parker “…one of the finest Police Chiefs in the Nation”. He adds that he has “…not wavered from my absolute support of law enforcement, not will any amount of ‘pressure’ change my views in this regard.” Attached is an unsigned copy of Mayor Yorty’s 8/16/65 post-Watts Riots press statement defending the LAPD and a carbon copy of the letter to Mayor Yorty. Wm. H. Parker (1902-1966) Los Angeles policeman from 1927, chief 1950-66, credited with transforming the LAPD into a world renowned law enforcement agency. Under Parker, however, the LAPD earned a reputation for brutality and harassment against the Black and Latino communities, a factor in the Watts Riot in South Central Los Angeles, and his handling of the riots discredited him. Parker supposedly used the Organized Crime and Intelligence Division to keep tabs on politicians and celebrities for purposes of blackmail. LAPD headquarters, The Parker Center, was named for him.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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