Black L.A. 1947: LAPD Detectives Cleared of Brutality Against Drunk Woman


Jan. 9, 1947: The Sentinel reports on the ruling by the Los Angeles Police Commission in the case of Edythe L. Galloway, 434 E. 48th St.

On Nov. 6, 1946, the Police Commission voted to investigate the allegations of brutality by Detectives Hansen (No. 7495) and Grutsch (No. 3964) against Galloway.

Nov. 6, 1946, Los Angeles Police Commission Minutes

Note: For those who just tuned in, we’re going to reboot the concept of the 1947project (founded by Kim Cooper and Nathan Marsak) by going day by day through 1947 – but using the Los Angeles Sentinel, an African American weekly, rather than the very white and very conservative Los Angeles Times. We promise you an extremely different view of Los Angeles.


(The historic Los Angeles Sentinel is available online from the Los Angeles Public Library. We encourage anyone with a library card to delve into the back issues and explore the history of black L.A.



Unfortunately, the Sentinel didn’t report the original story (nor did the Los Angeles Times – no surprise there).

Alameda near Turner Street
Turner Street no longer meets Alameda. This is the approximate location, via Google Street View.

According to the Sentinel and Police Commission minutes, Edythe L. Galloway was arrested at Alameda and Turner streets by plainclothes Detectives Patrick Grutsch and Wilhelm M. Hansen for being drunk in a car. Her cousins, Charles Perkins (who was also arrested) and Revige (sometimes spelled Revege) Ravarre confirmed that she was drunk.

The Hotel Bixby, 433 Wall St., via Google Street View.

The story and the Police Commission minutes are a little confusing when referring to a hotel at 433 Wall St. (the Hotel Bixby). It’s actually less than a mile from the scene of the arrest.

Jan. 9, 1947, Sentinel

This is entry from the Police Commission’s minutes on the incident, which conforms with the Sentinel’s account.

Dec. 31, 1946, Los Angeles Police Commission

The Police Commission voted unanimously to adopt the Board of Inquiry’s findings, which said that allegations of excessive force against Galloway were without foundation.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, African Americans, City Hall, LAPD and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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