Before you watch TNT’s “Mob City” tonight, read these items from The Times about what Police Capt. William H. Parker was actually doing in the 1940s.
Parker served in the Army during World War II and was discharged in November 1945. On July 25, 1947, Parker was named head of the LAPD Traffic Division. By December 1947, Parker had attained the rank of inspector. He became head of Internal Affairs in May 1950 and became LAPD chief Aug. 2, 1950.
As I have noted before, by the time Parker became LAPD chief, Bugsy Siegel had been dead for three years.
Where was Mickey Cohen when Parker became chief? Traveling across the U.S. with John Stompanato.
And if the name Robert Gilmore in the Dec. 12, 1946, story seems familiar, you’re right. Regardless of what you may read elsewhere, “Severed” writer John Gilmore’s father was a traffic officer at this time.
Dec. 12, 1946: Capt. William H. Parker is looking for motorcycle officers.
July 26, 1947: Capt. William H. Parker is appointed head of the Traffic Division.
In 1949, Parker is assigned to the staff of Police Chief William Worton.
May 6, 1950: Parker will become head of Internal Affairs.
And where was Mickey Cohen when Parker became LAPD chief?
Saw a promo photo for the show that had the hero firing his revolver with a two-handed grip. In (supposedly) 1947. I think we can add that anachronism to improperly tilted fedoras to the “uh oh” list 🙂
Am ashamed to admit that I actually tried to watch a bit of “Mob City” last night. It sent me to my bed of pain. Re: the comment above, there were also shots of people smoking filtered cigarettes, which (or so my research tells me) weren’t on the market until 1952. Let’s just ignore the general historical inaccuracy of the show and note that the production was obviously the “spare no expense” type in terms of sets, costumes, vehicles, etc. So…why the hell did someone not do a better job of researching the details?
Good comment by CAROL GWENN on failure to research the details. Aside from historical
errors, they did little research on LAPD uniforms of the era. Sorry, EARLE B., but two-handed
grips have been in use as long as there have been pistols and those who knew how to shoot
them. You are correct in that LAPD taught one-handed, on-the-Academy-range target shooting, well beyond my arrival on the Department in 1960….
Chief (then Captain) WILLIAM H. PARKER, assigned to command Traffic Enforcement Division (Motors), is wearing a patch that did not exist until 1974 (the green cross version). His Sam Browne leather diagonal shoulder strap is supposed to support the heavy revolver—but is instead attached to the opposite side, thus thwarting its purpose.
[The original Captain SAM BROWNE had his left arm chopped off with a sword in the Indian
Rebellion of 1857. Unable to draw his sword one-armed, he devised a shoulder strap to hold the
sword in place]. LAPD dropped the diagonal strap, I believe, in 1958. It could be grasped by
suspects fighting the officer to pull him off balance.
I was bothered by 2013 lingo, which seemed really sloppy. “Stay on task.” “Game over.” “Really?” And a reference to a dumpster, which I believe didn’t come into common use til it was trademarked in the 60s. Small but distracting stuff, especially when considering the items noted here.
Yeah, I caught a “back in the day” myself. Honestly.