A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF ALL THE LAPD’S LINE-OF-DUTY DEATHS.NARRATIVES ARE SUPPLEMENTED BY HISTORICAL NOTES FROM REBECCA ESCOBAR, CREATOR OF THE MEMORIAL, “WINDOWS OF THE BEGOTTEN BLUE.
This collection of fictional storytelling is inspired by true events. You will read, in chronological order, a short tale about every single LAPD officer killed in the line-of-duty. Many of the scenes, dialogue and character portrayals were creatively designed in order to best represent the known historical facts of the time. In some cases, we were able to include factual first-hand accounts from people who knew these officers best.
STORY 1: FALLEN MARSHAL WILLIAM WARREN, 1870
CHAPTER 4: THE LOS ANGELES RANGERS
June 4th 1851 10AM City Hall Courtyard, Downtown Los Angeles
Mayor of Los Angeles, Benjamin Wilson, stepped up to the wooden podium. Alexander Graham Bell was still 6-years from inventing the microphone. But that did not matter. Mayor Wilson’s voice carried very well into the quad. The crowd was small and they gathered in close.
Among the crowd was a lady for which his heart was smitten, Margaret Hereford. In the years that followed the speech he was about to deliver, Mayor Wilson married Margaret. The consummation of their wedding would bring their daughter into this world, Ruth Wilson, who would later birth the San Gabriel native, George S. Patton, famous American war hero. But of course at the time, the crowd was simply there for an appointment speech.
And so, Mayor Benjamin Wilson began:
“Countrymen, Brethren, and Fathers, we are now assembled in order to officially appoint Dr. Alexander W. Hope, member of the Los Angeles Common Council, to lead a volunteer group.
My days in Tennessee have taught me that the Indians are a people we need to work with, not against. But there are some tribes that are not happy with our acquisition of what is now our land. The population is growing. We will not allow banditos to do as they desire. The Hue and Cry system of corralling criminals is no longer useful in our modern town.“
Dr. Hope, on this occasion, June 4th of 1851, you have heretofore been duly appointed, from this stage, on the nature of your duties. I hereby give you the power under the California State Militia mandates to support our county sheriff and city marshal. You will pursue crime-doers in the name of justice. You will obliterate violent Indian raiders who stand in the way of our Manifest Destiny. You will be an integral part of protecting the people of Los Angeles. “
We cannot allow the murder of lawmen like Marshal Jack Whaling to go unpunished. Our authority will not be respected otherwise. And while we are grateful for the unnamed bounty hunter that killed Whaling’s assassin, we must be able to protect and find justice for our own lawmen. “
You will have a volunteer team of 100 men. 25 of which will be full time. You will use your own guns. But I will call upon the citizens to come together and provide ammunitions, food, horses, uniforms and shelter when necessary.“
Dr. Hope, your work in congress and township matters and has not gone unnoticed. I know oyu will set a worthy path for the future safety of our town. This organization you will now lead will be called, THE LOS ANGELES RANGERS. Here is the badge you and your militia will don…”
Mayor Wilson walked over to Dr. Hope and pinned the badge on his coat. The badge was woven of white ribbon. Upon it bared the words:
“City Police Organized by the Common Council of Los Angeles, 1851
Policia Organizado por el Consejo Comun de Los Angeles, 1851”