PETER JENNINGS REPORTING: LAPD looks at what happens when the nation's most famous police officer takes over the nation's most infamous police department. The result is a complex tale about the struggle for power-from the top brass to the rank and file cops to the gang members who plague the streets of Los Angeles.
Scandals of the recent past-Rodney King, OJ Simpson, and Rampart- left police officers demoralized. LAPD's finest were staying in their cars engaging in what Bratton calls "smiling and waving policing," and the streets were left to the gangs. When Bratton arrived, Los Angeles was the murder capital of America.
LAPD spends a year inside the toughest division in the city. South East division is 10 square miles where some 65 gangs rule the streets. The violence is staggering. It spares no one, not even the police. Riding with gang officers, following detectives through investigations, observing the top brass planning policy, and talking with community members in the aftermath of police crackdowns, this program explores how a department with a troubled reputation struggles to stem the violence and gain the trust of a skeptical community.
LAPD draws a complicated, challenging, and at times tragic portrait of the devastation wrought by gang warfare and the struggle of a police department to regain control.