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57silencio

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Reply with quote  #1 
Is the LAPD as crooked and political as depicted in Connelly's books or does he simply use poetic license to tell good stories?
lagoondon

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Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #2 
Whether the LAPD is crooked is a matter of opinion. All I will say is that the LAPD has had a number of scandals over the years, such as the Rodney King beating in 1991 and the Rampart scandal in the late 90's. That doesn't make the whole department crooked, but those were significant negative events that put a cloud over the department. Michael Connelly is a meticulous researcher. As he said in a recent message about the Murder Book podcast, he is a journalist at heart. Much of what he writes is based on real incidents that he has observed or been told about by insiders. Of course he is writing fiction, so some people and events are purely fictional. But it's the high proportion of factual content that sets his work apart from all other crime writers.
RogerDane

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Reply with quote  #3 
Wherever you put human beings in significant numbers with diverse and difficult goals you will have either intentional miscues or real mistakes made. Rodney King "became" a scandal only because of what was never clearly stated AND THE PUBLIC'S OVERALL IGNORANCE of physical combat/conflict. And, to a degree, perhaps TV contributed to the absolutely silly idea that taking into custody a 6'5", 260# enraged and drugged suspect was a simple as 'cuffing' him... right. LAPD took away significant tools a year prior (or 18 months, don't recall) when the various choke holds were discontinued in all but life threatening incidents. Because members of the minority community usually high on PCP during the altercations had died due to a subduing of the breathing reflex the single most humane method of arrest was halted. The various pro-police organizations wrote the City council and the Police Commission and stated unequivocally that by doing so "they were forcing the use of a baton to subdue violent subjects"... the predicted the very Rodney King incident. King, a reprobate who proved time and time again after the historical moment that he was a serial abuser, remains the provocateur of terrible circumstance for the City of Los Angeles, four men who were following procedures forced upon them and (because he was given near deity) all women he came in contact with afterwards. What a mistake. Leaders lead to victory or downfall but individual moments outside the immediate purview of those commanders can create such a firestorm... and, for those interested, LAPD was blocked from examining the teen arrest records of its applicants. In all probability the Rampart scandal would have been prevented "if" those records were made available (although that is not the whole story and obviously more officers than Rafael Perez were involved)... everyone should note the four officers were indicted (which more or less served to indict the whole department in the minds of media believing society)...I DO NOT disagree that wherever there is such power as even the simple officer on the street wields there can be great misuse but I think M.C. uses the public's willingness to believe all power is corrupt to facilitate his genre.
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vance_extra

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Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #4 
I think RogerDane has a lot more knowledge about this topic than I do, I'd like to just add that I feel that Michael Connelly uses real events to create a real/fictional environment where his fictional characters can live.
He creates conflict between corruption and virtue in his version of the LAPD that may be overstated, but I think he chooses to do that in order to make a more entertaining story.
Since some of the events are real, it makes the story told more believable and engaging.
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