*Daryl Gates, the reigning chief of the Los Angeles police department when Rodney King was beaten, died at his home in Dana Point, California after suffering from bladder cancer. He was 83.
Gates was thrust into the international spotlight in 1992 after several of his officers were secretly videotaped beating unarmed motorist Rodney King following a traffic stop. Gates was heavily criticized for his “weak response” to the incident.
The acquittal of four white officers who were charged with the beating led to the infamous L.A. riots.
The Los Angeles native joined the police department in 1948 and eventually landed a job as driver for then-Chief William Parker – a relationship that helped him move up through the ranks and eventually land the department’s top job in 1978.
He was later instrumental in developing the first SWAT team in the nation and developing the anti-drug effort DARE. He also formed the C.R.A.S.H. unit, the hard-driving group of officers that went after gang members in Los Angeles during some of the most violent gang activity in the city’s history. The group quickly became known for being overly aggressive.
His 43-year career with the LAPD came to an end when he retired in 1992 amid heavy criticism over the department’s handling of the King beating and subsequent L.A. riots.