LAPD Rampart Division

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Los Angeles Police Department Rampart Division
Common name Rampart Division (Patrol Area #2)
Abbreviation LAPD
Motto "To Protect and to Serve"
Agency overview
Formed 1933
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Los Angeles in the state of California, United States
Size 7.9 sq mi (20 km2)
Population Approx. 375,000
Legal jurisdiction City of Los Angeles, California
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Rampart Community Police Station
1401 West 6th Street
Westlake, Los Angeles
Police Officers Approx. 350
Unsworn members Approx. 15
Agency executives
Parent agency Los Angeles Police Department
Website
Rampart Community Police Station
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
The New Rampart Police Station

The Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department serves communities to the west and northwest of Downtown Los Angeles including Echo Park, Pico-Union and Westlake, all together designated as the Rampart patrol area. Its name is derived from Rampart Boulevard, one of the principal thoroughfares in its patrol area. The station house was located at 2710 West Temple Street in Westlake. It has since moved east into a newly constructed facility at 1401 West 6th Street, the site of the former emergency receiving hospital. With 375,000 residents occupying a 7.9-square-mile (20 km2) area, Rampart is Los Angeles's most densely populated community.[3]

The "Rampart scandal"[edit]

The Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) anti-gang program initiated under the direction of LAPD Chief Daryl F. Gates in the late 1970s had encountered some success in the Rampart Division. However, between 1998–2000, graphic allegations of extreme police misconduct among Rampart's CRASH squad began to emerge. This misconduct involved several officers and detectives, most notably Rafael Perez. Perez was suspected to be involved in a bank robbery committed by another Rampart Division officer, David Mack; he also stole six pounds of cocaine from an LAPD evidence locker, which eventually led to his arrest.[4] His most egregious act involved the shooting—and framing—of unarmed gang member Javier Ovando. Perez originally claimed that Ovando had opened fire at both Perez and another officer, Nino Durden. The two officers then returned fire, leaving Ovando paralyzed.[5][6] Perez and Durden then framed Ovando for the attack and he was found guilty and sentenced to 23 years in prison (Ovando was later released once Perez admitted to shooting and framing him).[7] After several other incidents, the LAPD became suspicious of Perez and began to investigate him. Perez later pled guilty to the cocaine theft in exchange for information about other corrupt officers within the Rampart Division. In turn, Perez implicated approximately 70 officers of misconduct.

The resulting scandal—exacerbated by what is widely viewed as inept public relations management by then-chief Bernard Parks—severely compromised the credibility of the LAPD, and the Rampart Division in particular, during a time when the department had only just begun to recover from the public relations fiasco of the Los Angeles Riots.

The most prominent casualty of the scandal was Parks himself, who was not rehired by newly elected Mayor James K. Hahn in 2001. While Parks's termination was hailed by both outside observers and the LAPD's rank and file, Hahn's indelicate handling of the matter cost him the support of South Los Angeles's African-American community, which in turn helped to lead to his defeat by Antonio Villaraigosa in the 2005 mayoral election. Parks, however, was elected to the City Council in 2003, where he still serves.

Popular culture[edit]

Adam-12 (TV series)[edit]

Although not set in the Rampart Division, the long-running television series Adam-12 featured the Rampart Division station on Temple Street as the setting for the series. However, according to the radio call sign of the unit "1-Adam 12", the station is actually the Central Division station (Division One), which serves Downtown Los Angeles.

Colors (1988 film)[edit]

The 1988 film Colors, starring Academy Award–winning actors Robert Duvall and Sean Penn (and directed by Dennis Hopper), attempted to realistically show police work by portraying the lives of a veteran and a rookie LAPD officer partnered together in a gang-infested part of Los Angeles. The film actually uses the real-life CRASH acronym as the division Duvall and Penn's characters are working under.

GTA San Andreas (Video Game)[edit]

The plot of Rockstar Games' controversial video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, set in 1992 in a fictional version of Los Angeles, involves two corrupt CRASH officers and one that disagrees with the others. The CRASH motto, "intimidate those who intimidate others", is spoken directly by one of these characters during the course of the game.

Training Day (2001 film)[edit]

The 2001 film Training Day starred Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke (and was directed by Antoine Fuqua). The film, as the title suggests, follows a single day in the life of a young LAPD officer, Jake Hoyt (Hawke), as he is subjected to a uniquely challenging evaluation by Alonzo Harris (Washington), a highly decorated detective with the LAPD narcotics division, to see if he has what it takes to be a "narc" (narcotics officer). The entire film takes place over a single intense 24-hour period in Los Angeles. It was partly based on and heavily influenced by the Rampart Division CRASH unit and the surrounding scandal.

Crash (2004 film)[edit]

In the 2004 film, Crash, an off-duty black police officer is shot by an off-duty white officer in a turn of events very similar to the shooting of Kevin Gaines. The said black officer is, later, found to be corrupt, just like in the case of Kevin Gaines. However, in the film the corrupt nature of the black officer is suppressed by the mayor in order to not lose the black vote.

The Shield[edit]

FX Networks' hit series The Shield is inspired by Rampart's C.R.A.S.H. unit. Originally called "Rampart" when the first ads were run, the show's title was later changed at the request of the LAPD. By calling the show "Rampart", the LAPD claimed that the show's graphic content would portray them as corrupt. Consequently, the show was set up in the fictional Farmington Division ("the Farm") of Los Angeles (based on East and South Central Los Angeles), using a converted church ("the Barn") as their police station. The show primarily follows the activities of Detective Vic Mackey (portrayed by Emmy winner Michael Chiklis) and the corrupt detectives under his command, Shane Vendrell, Curtis Lemansky, and Ronnie Gardocki, who make up the "Strike Team", a special experimental LAPD unit specializing in anti-gang activity and anti-drug and weapon trafficking.

Dirty[edit]

Another portrayal of the Rampart Scandal can be seen in the film Dirty, which follows two corrupt members of an LAPD anti-gang unit (portrayed by Clifton Collins, Jr. and Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr.) through a day at work, showing actions such as the killing of gang members, theft of narcotics evidence, and planting of evidence on shooting victims, and showing the eventual consequences of these actions.

Faster[edit]

In 2010, the crime drama movie Faster featured a police officer played by Billy Bob Thornton who is revealed to be a corrupt former Rampart CRASH officer.

Rampart[edit]

Rampart is a 2011 feature film derived from the Rampart Scandal and starring Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster and Ice Cube.[8] Based on a James Ellroy screenplay that covers both the scandal and the LAPD C.R.A.S.H. units involved, the film was directed and co-written by Oren Moverman. Harrelson portrays Dave Brown, a personally and professionally conflicted LAPD officer caught up in the aftermath of the scandal which brings him to the attention of Kyle Timkins (Ice Cube) as an internal affairs investigator. Filming was completed in December, 2010 in LA

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Central Bureau". LAPD. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  2. ^ "Rampart Community Police Station". Los Angeles Police Department. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  3. ^ "on the LAPD". Pbs.org. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  4. ^ "CNN.com". Transcripts.cnn.com. 2000-03-12. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  5. ^ "Ovando Shooting". Wsws.org. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  6. ^ "StreetGangs.com". StreetGangs.com. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  7. ^ "PBS Timeline". Pbs.org. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  8. ^ » by tffhthewriter April 29, 2010, 11:06am (2010-04-29). "Ice Cube To Star In Film Based Around Cops With Alleged Ties To Biggie & Tupac Murders". Hip-Hop Wired. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 

External links[edit]