Black L.A. 1947: 5 LAPD Officers Injured in 3 Fights

June 5, 1947, Barber dies
June 5, 1947: Christopher W. Bankhead, who was injured in a plane crash during World War II, dies of a heart “ailment” while cutting a customer’s hair at William McKinney’s barbershop, 4012 S. Central Ave.

June 5, 1947, LAPD fight

LAPD Officers S. Goldman and E.R. Nelson were questioning two men at Pico Boulevard and Georgia Street when a crowd gathered and someone yelled “Let’s beat the hell out of those XXX cops.”

Officer Orville Frederickson, coming to the aid of his fellow officers, was injured when he was knocked down and kicked in the face. Police responding to a radio call for help arrested Norman Charles Bale, 29, of 1302 W. Pico Blvd.

According to the Sentinel, Bale said: “I hate cops and when I get a chance, I’ll get myself one.”

Frederickson was taken to Los Angeles County General Hospital with facial fractures while Goldman and Nelson were taken to the Georgia Street Receiving Hospital for cuts and bruises.

1001 E. 29th St., Los Angeles, CA

1001 E. 29th St., via Google Street View.

The Sentinel also reported that Officer M.J. Lee of the Newton Division was helping two other officers arrest “two Negro youths dressed in women’s clothing” at 1001 3/4 E. 29th St.  when he was struck in the shoulder with a 2 by 4 studded with nails.

In the third incident, Officer Donald Davis of the Valley Division tried to stop a fight between two men in an alley behind 7824 Lankershim Blvd. According to the Sentinel, a man identified as Pete Ortiz, 18, got Davis’ pistol and fell backward on the ground.

The Sentinel reported that Ortiz cocked the gun and said: “Stand back you XXX or I’ll shoot you.” Diving for the gun, Davis deflected the pistol as Ortiz fired, then subdued Ortiz.

Curiously, none of these incidents was mentioned in The Times.

June 5, 1947, LAPD fight

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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2 Responses to Black L.A. 1947: 5 LAPD Officers Injured in 3 Fights

  1. Benito says:

    Can only speculate why LAT didn’t report these violent incidents, but they are newsworthy. Maybe to hide the concept of resisting the LAPD? Anyway, when I lived in LA County decades later, LAT’s local crime coverage was poor, except for the flashy stuff.


    • lmharnisch says:

      In the 1940s, the L.A. Times wasn’t terribly interested in covering crime, unlike the competing Los Angeles papers, especially Hearst (the Examiner and the Herald-Express) but also the Daily News. When The Times evening paper, the Mirror (RIP), came along in the late 1940s, it also did a better job, for that matter.


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