E.A. West Compton Police Chief 1928
Compton wasn't always street gangs and ganster rap. It was the ultimate Los Angeles area middle class suburban community and it was called the Hub City because it is 11 miles from Los Angeles and 11 miles from the Long Beach harbor.
Compton P.D 1928
Chief Everet A. West, Captain William C. Smith, Detective Sergeant Judd L. DeWitt, Desk Sergeants Wm. don Castello, W.W. fuller, G. Wayne Wright, Motor Officers Ray Hecock, C.J. Andrews, L.R. Hollingsworth, C.W. Kissam, J.C. Looney, R.L. Parker, Seth K. Martin, Patrolmen C.H. Wittecar, W.R. Ralls, A. Duclos, A.D. Wiggins, C.J. Griggers, N.E. Trimble, Police Matron Mrs. M. DeHaven, Police Judge Nelson Ward
The City of Compton is a ten square mile city with a population of 100,000, which lies in the heart of Los Angeles. In the last 30 years, this city has seen radical racial shifts from predominately white to black, then Hispanic. Compton is bordered on the south by Long Beach, and to the north is Watts, commonly referred to as South Central L.A. Due to the Watts riots in 1967, the white population began moving out and the black population began moving in.
At this time in South Central L.A., black gangs were forming and calling themselves Crips and identifying by wearing the color blue. The Crip gangs also established themselves in Compton. By the early 70's to combat the crip gangs, a new gang was formed on Piru Street in Compton, calling themselves "Bloods". The Bloods associated themselves with the color red which was the school colors of centennial high in Compton. Compton was virtually unknown to the outside world, but Gangster rap music in the upcoming years was about to change all that.
In the early eighties, Rappers like "EASY E", "DR. DRE","ICE CUBE", and "DJ QUICK" were nothing more than young kids growing up in the harsh streets of Compton. Snoop Dog was in North Long Beach, which is on the border of Compton, involving himself with a Crip gang.
Easy E, DR. DRE and Ice Cube were hanging out in the area of Atlantic Dr., a street in Compton known for the sales of narcotics, and a known hang out for "Atlantic Drive, N-hood and Kelly Park Crips".
DJ Quick, was on the north side of Compton where most of our Blood gangs claimed their neighborhoods. DJ Quick hung with a group of Bloods called the "Tree Top Pirus". The CEO of Death Row Records Suge Marion Knight, was growing up in the streets of Compton, in an area known as "Mob Piru".
The influence of rap started in Jamaica, then New York City, eventually getting to the west coast. Compton rappers began to sing songs about the street life and growing up as a gang member in Compton. They began making underground tapes, which spread like wildfire with the youth of Compton, and they loved it. These rappers would call it "Gangster Rap".
Rock cocaine was at it's height and the street gangs were out of control. Rock houses seemed to be on every street. Selling cocaine was their way of making big money, which meant better weapons. The money made by these major Compton cocaine dealers was in the millions. But the competition was too much, so the spread of rock cocaine made it's way across the United States. The competition was not heavy there, so these cocaine dealers could raise the prices, and as a result, even more money was made with less danger to the dealers. As a result of the spread of rock cocaine across America, these Compton gang members were making their influences known. Soon these other cities and states were having drive-by shootings, drug rip-offs. The Crips and Bloods gang culture was being introduced and law enforcement agencies from these other states did not know how to deal the related crime.
The mid-80s were still out of control and Compton was a battlefield with gang warfare, averaging over seventy homicides a year. The streets were infested with rock cocaine, and the money seen while taking down these rock houses was unbelievable.
The early-90s were upon us, Gangster rap had put the city of Compton on the map. It was about this time when known "Mob Piru" member Marion Suge Knight wanted to start Death Row Records. We thought we just about seen everything, as the onslaught of murders continued and rap music continued hitting the charts. Little did we know it was just beginning. It was 1992 as the Rodney King trial came to an end. The 1992 riots began and Compton lost millions of dollars to looting, arson, and suffered two riot fatalities.
Compton again made history, as the aftermath of the riots brought the Crips and Bloods together for the first time anywhere. There were several get-togethers at some of the parks in Compton, where hundreds of Crips and Bloods got together in peace. After about two months it ended. The shooting and killing started up again.
Tupac and Suge were shot the night of September 7, 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most of the Compton gang members involved had returned to Compton on September 8th, and 9th. As we were coordinating with LVPD, contacting informants, and gathering information, the City of Compton turned into a battleground. The next 5 days in Compton, the toll would be 3 murders and 11 attempted murders as a result of this feud.
The city government of Compton was a story in itself and corruption ran wild. One mayor went to federal prison for taking bribes and the next mayor continued the corruption, nepotism, and thirst of absolute power for controling not only the city but also the Police and Fire Departments. This led to the disbanding of the Police Department, which had been around since 1888. Mayor Bradley and his cohorts on the city council voted to disband the Police Department because we protested his corrupt administration.
Although Compton P.D. is no more, the following events have since taken place: Eric Perrodin (a District Attorney and former Compton cop) won the position of mayor in Compton; Omar Bradley is out of a job; Bradley and his entourage are currently being investigated by the FBI (search warrants were recently served at City Hall and at his home); Bradley and his cohorts have been indicted for corruption by the District Attorney and are awaiting trial.
Compton is currently policed by the LA County Sheriffs Department. Most of the Compton Police Officers are currently employed by the Sheriffs Department or other Southern California police agencies.
Everyone who put on a Compton PD uniform, gave their lives, dedicated their careers to fight the battle in the "Gang War Zone" in a place we believe is the toughest place in Los Angeles, should be proud to say they were Compton PD!