Shooting of Eula Love

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Eula May Love (more commonly referred to as Eula Love; frequently referred to in print as "Eulia Love" or "Eulia Mae Love")[1] was a 39-year-old African-American mother who was shot and killed on January 3, 1979 by Los Angeles Police Department officers Edward M. Hopson (African-American) and Lloyd W. O'Callaghan (caucasian).[2][3] The officers alleged that they shot her in self-defense because she was brandishing a knife and was ready to throw it at them.[4] They were at her home in response to a disputed gas bill after she had threatened and attacked a postal carrier with a knife for delivering a bill to her that she could not afford to pay (although it was also reported that she menaced a Southern California Gas employee for trying to collect on the overdue bill or turn off her gas).[5]

The killing generated widespread coverage in the local news media,[6] and sparked public outrage, which led the Los Angeles Police Commission to conduct its own investigation of the shooting.[6] Black Angelenos' confidence in the LAPD declined precipitously in 1979 due in part to this case, according to Allen John Scott's book The City: Los Angeles and Urban Theory at the End of the Twentieth Century.[7] The report led to "significant reforms in the Department's procedures on use of force."[6]

The academic journal Crime and Social Justice later reprinted the Police Commission's report on the circumstances of the shooting. Journal editors expressed the opinion that "her killing is a crime against humanity."[8] Journalist Joe Domanick (author of two books on the department) described Love's shooting as emblematic of the "bad old days" of the Los Angeles Police Department.[4]


  1. ^ Ogbar, Jeffrey O. G. (1 January 1999). "Slouching toward Bork: The Culture Wars and Self-Criticism in Hip-Hop Music". Journal of Black Studies. 30 (2): 164–183. doi:10.1177/002193479903000202. JSTOR 2645846.
  2. ^ "Hopson v. City of Los Angeles (1983)". Justia Law. Justia. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  3. ^ Shaw, David (May 26, 1992). "Media Failed to Examine Alleged LAPD Abuses". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b Domanick, Joe (1999-06-06). "A Shooting Reminiscent of the LAPD's Worst Days". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  5. ^ Welkos, Robert; Spiegel, Claire (3 February 1985). "Three Bullets Haunted Officer to a Deserved Stress Pension". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "On January 3, 1979, two officers fatally shot Eulia Love, an African-American woman, in a confrontation that received widespread publicity." Christopher, Warren (1991). Report of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department. DIANE Publishing. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-7881-4913-9.
  7. ^ Scott, Allen John (1998). The City: Los Angeles and Urban Theory at the End of the Twentieth Century. University of California Press. p. 355. ISBN 978-0-520-21313-5.
  8. ^ Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners (1980). "Concerning the Shooting of Eulia Love". Crime and Social Justice (14): 2–9. ISSN 0094-7571. JSTOR 29766096.

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