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Villaraigosa offers muted response to Gates' death

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a former president of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, offered a muted response Friday to the death of former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates.

“Chief Gates committed his life to the Los Angeles Police Department and to the city of Los Angeles. We all mourn his death, and my condolences to him, to his family and to the officers of the Los Angeles Police Department who mourn his loss," the mayor said at a noon news conference, called to announce his endorsement of San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris for state attorney general.

In a written statement released later in the day, the mayor also noted that Gates would be remembered for creating the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program for teaching children about the dangers of drugs and for helping “pave the way" for department reforms.

In March 1992, while serving as vice president of the ACLU of Southern California, Villaraigosa criticized a City Council proposal that would have delayed moving Gates out of the job, even though the procedural maneuver would have allowed two Latino candidates to be considered.

The Daily News reported that, while he supported the consideration of a diverse field of candidates, Villaraigosa at the time said it was “criminal to use that fact to propose a motion that in effect would slow down the process of change in this city, that would slow down the process of accountability in this city, that would slow down the process of getting Chief Gates out."

The ACLU’s current executive director, Ramona Ripston, was more direct Friday.

"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," Ripston said. “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."

City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, a former LAPD chief who rose through the ranks under Gates’ command, said Gates always had Angelenos “interests at heart."

He said Gates had the difficult task of cleaning up past corruption in the department and addressing a spike in murders fed by the crack epidemic and street gangs.

“It is a sad day that we have lost chief Gates," Parks said.

-- Phil Willon at Los Angeles City Hall

Comments () | Archives (23)

Well, there goes Harris' bid for office!

DARE is a total joke. Why do people list this program as some sort of success? By any and all measures, its a complete waste of money and it has done nothing to reduce drug use in the US. In fact, aren't we about to vote whether Marijuana should just be legal?

Remember that movie 'Die,Die Again!"? Well, you get the idea.....

Why would the midget mayor want to pay tribute to a real Chief of Police?

How sad that these two, Villaraigosa & Ripston, cannot bring themselves to be just a bit more cordial on the passing of a man who worked hard to try and keep the poeple of this city safe.

Ripston needs to stop playing the "victim" and try to work just a little bitter harder at being part of the solution.

Her bitter attitude towards Gates, even in his passing, shows that she has no intention of doing such.

"We all mourn his death, and my condolences to him, to his family and to the officers of the Los Angeles Police Department who mourn his loss."

HOW DO YOU GIVE YOUR CONDOLENCES TO THE DECEASED? Aren't condolences intended for the who are living?

Wow, cannot wait to heard what they say about you Ripston when it's your time. No matter how great you think you are, you will have amounted to no more than a pile of waste compaired to the type of person and man Daryl Gates was....

Mayor Villaraigosa and Ramona Ripston should echo the pride of all the men and women of the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies in celibrating the life of this fine man. Chief Daryl Gates was a man who really cared about the officers and the people of Los Angeles. He may not have always been politically correct but he was always honista and truthful something which most politicians can't truthfully say.

Chief Gates was admired and loved by those who worked with him and those who had the honor of knowing this man. He will be remembered long after people like Villaraigosa and Ripston and the rest of the ACLU thugs are long gone.

Jack Baxter

Mayor Villaragosa and the NAACP thugs should join the rest of us in celebrating the life of this fine man. He always cared about the Officers of LAPD and the citizens of Los Angeles first and gave his all. He will be remembered and loved long after these anti-American community activists are long gone. We were all lucky to have had him.

He may not have been politically correct and he admitted that he shot from the lip at times but he spoke the truth and his motives were always pure. I wonder how many politicians can honestly say the same thing and believe it.

Jack Baxter

Boy, is Ramona Ripston filled with sadism and hate; such comments after a man's death!

I am disappointed, but not surprised, to hear ACLU Executive Director Ramona Ripston's harsh comments towards Mr. Gates on the day of his death.

Mr. Gates may have been an unsuccessful police chief in many ways, but on the day of the death of a public figure a few moments' courtesy in memory of the departed is called for.

Ms. Ripston's harsh rhetoric drives reasonable persons away from the ACLU, and portrays herself as a bitter human being.

open the gates of hell

The headline says it all - who gives a rip what Villaraigosa says on anything these days? His shenanigans with his marriage, his fiscal mismanagement of the city, and his "Failure" Los Angeles Magazine front cover, pretty much sums up the value of anything that six time Bar Exam failure has to say about anything.

The same cannot be said about Ramona Ripston. Her comments are simply mean spirited and frankly indicative of an old crank who is out of touch with reality. Sure, Chief Gates carried the can for the Rodney King riots. But time has passed, and people of all colors have come to understand that King was hardly worthy of a riot that cost the city millions, Gates is increasingly seen as a sympathetic figure by many who are shocked at the way the ACLU has enabled criminals of all races, and done nothing to solve the problems of criminality that plagues the city.

It's sad to see how the passing of great leader is being used by politicians to advance their agendas or excuse their mistakes.

Why is Gates responsible for the immoral actions of the people during the riot?

Bernie Parks never lets reality interfere with his continuing apologies for Daryl Gates. Parks is quoted as saying that Gates faced a massive challenge in dealing with "past corruption". Since all but 8 months of Gates' entire career were spent under the reigns of Chiefs Parker, Reddin and Davis, one must wonder whether it is Davis, Reddin, Parker or any combination thereof that bernie is accusing of being corrupt?

Perhaps it is simply the institution, itself that uses excessive force in lieu of appropriate manpower to discharge its mission? When you try to cover three to five times the area, with half the officers on a pro-rata population basis as just about every other major city in the US, the use of shortcuts, like "busted heads are quiet heads" becomes the norm rather than the exception.

Still, the fault lies not so much with the LAPD as it does with the gutless wonders on the City Council who continue their longtime failure to make adequate resources available to do the job properly. I am certain that Chief Gates honestly gave it his best shot, but the powers that be had the deck stacked against him all the while.

I think that Villaraigosa's response was generous, heatfelt and not "muted" as the article says. Maybe the reporter felt Villaraigosa should nominate Gates for a post-mortem Nobel Peace Price too.

Villaraigosa's response is no surprise. It was against people like Villaraigosa that Gate's fought. And look where we are now? Villaraigosa with his ACLU tax and spend liberal values has destroyed this city and brought it to the brink of bankruptcy. Gates fought to protect those of us who obey the law and respect other people from Gang members and criminals who have long been shielded by Villaraigosa and the ACLU. Sleep well Chief Gates you were the last public official that ever was respected by the public in this city!

The Pint Size Mayor will always be an inept person. He cannot hold a candle to Chief Gates. I did not agree on some of the things Chief Gates said, and done. I liked the Chief, and I feel we would not have some of the things happening today with him in command. As for the Pint Size Mayor when he leaves, and I hope soon he will be remembered for his being inept. For playing around on his wife, and lying to the citizens. His career is DOA, and he did that to himself.
My prayers go to his family, and friends.

Harris, should forget about being AG, since she has the Pint Size mayor supporting her. It is just a show for the African American community, and my African American friends made that statement.

I think we should have a national holiday in honor of Chief Gates...We'll just get rid or one of the less honorable holidays and replace with Chief Gates Day...

I am a 50 something hispanic male who is proud to have lived in an era in which Chief Gates lived. Tony Villar has nothing to say, when it comes to leadership, and character. Tony is not worthy to tie The Chief's shoelace. So to Ms. Rippson, Ms. Morrison and Tony, what have you done for this city lately? While the Gates family and the LAPD family mourn as they prepare to bury their dead, you still go on with your hate speech about Chief gates. The memories of His leadership will not be tarnished or tinted in the hearts and minds of those who knew this as world class City, due in part tho the Chief's Leadership. His integrity refutes your bristling comments Mr. Villar who worked hard to remove The Chief has delivered us our present "City in a world of hurt", not world class

To Chief gates it's "Hail to the Chief" . For Villaraigosa it's..'well bankruptcy, scandal, unfaithfulness, and shamelessness, as well as mismanagement..can't even manage those who he power-played for. As for Gaucho, if dare is a "joke" what is your plan?


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