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ACLU Takes Different View on Daryl Gates & Other Statements

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The ACLU this afternoon released their statement on the death of former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates, who often referred to Ramona Ripston, ACLU of Southern California's Executive Director, as “Ramona Ripoff." She offers some choice words:

Daryl Gates failed to react to a changing Los Angeles and a changing culture in policing. At a time of great unrest in our city, he was a lightning rod for criticism and controversy, and deservedly so, in part because of his penchant for making disturbing, overly broad statements. He inherited a police department with little respect for minority communities or for civil liberties and civil rights, and he continued that legacy throughout his career.

While not exactly a gushing statement, here's Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's statement:

I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Chief Daryl Gates. Chief Gates led the Los Angeles Police Department during a period of great change in our City. He will be remembered for creating the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program that became the national model for teaching children about the dangers of drug use and for his efforts to reevaluate the policies and practices of the LAPD that helped pave the way for a reformed Department committed to working with the communities it serves.
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And Janice Hahn, who is running for Lt. Governor:

Though he was always a controversial figure, Chief Gates will be remembered for his 40 years of dedicated service to the LAPD. He can be credited with advancing many innovative policing techniques, but what I will always thank him for is helping hundreds of thousands of young people say no to drugs through his revolutionary DARE program.

Former L.A. City Councilman and current L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky had a more personal statement:

I am deeply saddened by the passing of former Chief Daryl Gates. We both held strong views about law enforcement and its practices and passionately defended those positions, and our often tempestuous relationship is well documented. But one of the things I always respected most about the Chief was that he never let our disagreements - over the issues of civil liberties, police intelligence practices or excessive use of force - get in the way of the things about which we agreed, such as growing the police department and addressing the LAPD's other pressing budgetary needs. On a personal level, I will always remember his generosity. Despite our differences, Chief Gates never turned down my requests to join me in charitable undertakings on behalf of the Los Angeles Free Clinic, or the legendary mile race that we ran at UCLA to raise funds for the young girl who was run over in Westwood Village the night before the opening of the 1984 Olympic Games.

I last spoke with Chief Gates a few months ago at the swearing-in of Chief Charlie Beck. We both reminisced about our confrontations during our overlapping tenures, but we also acknowledged the mutual respect we had for one another.

Daryl Gates will go down as one of the most important leaders in the LAPD’s history. With my wife Barbara, whom he really admired, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family.

Finally, Paul Weber of the L.A. Police Protective League:
Los Angeles has suffered a great loss with the death of Chief Gates. Chief Gates was a truly devoted public servant who committed his life to improving the lives of others in Los Angeles. He was a man of courage and character who had a deep commitment to the rule of law, with a deep pride of the LAPD. Chief Gates was a cop’s cop, revolutionizing critical policing tactics and changing the face of modern law enforcement around the world.

He lived his dream and felt blessed to be part of an organization that he cared so much about. Even after retiring, Chief Gates was an active and steadfast supporter of LAPD officers, making frequent appearances to honor officers for their service - from retirements and funerals to ceremonies and charity events, Chief Gates’ presence could always be counted on.

The men and women of the LAPD join the community in offering our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Gates family as they endure this painful loss.