To Protect and to Serve: The LAPD’s Century of War in the City of Dreams

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To Protect and to Serve: The LAPD’s Century of War in the City of Dreams

Joe Domanick


The Figueroa Press cover of this book is not as shocking as the book’s contents. Joe Domanick’s To Protect and to Serve was published in 1994 by Pocket books and reissued in paperback after the Rodney King trial in 1995, when it was the winner of the Edgar Award for best true crime fiction. Domanick’s street police savvy, relentless pursuit of the truth, and ear for good story have made a compelling and disturbing report of the LAPD’s extraordinary – and often disturbing – impact of the development of Los Angeles to the nineties.

The Figueroa Press edition contains a new and updated epilogue.


“Domanick’s deft storytelling details…the force’s misguided strategies….To Protect and to Serve leaves one ricocheting between sadness and anger.”
Los Angeles Magazine

“Joe Domanick’s vividly reported history of the LAPD since its formal inception in 1877 shows how the department has often exacerbated conflicts (in Los Angeles). But Domanick, a journalist whose 1990 L.A. Weekly piece on the LAPD won an L.A. Press Club award, refuses to scapegoat the police for their failure to resolve in the streets conflicts that really lie at the heart of our civic culture…. Domanick’s comprehensive review of L.A. history also underscores how difficult it was for ordinary Angelenos to develop much of a lively and caring communal spirit…. While Domanick unearths much dirt about the LAPD leaders, his book excels at drawing fair, empathetic, multidimensional portraits of their lives.”

Publication Date09/2003 ISBN: 0972762558 Number of Pages 497
Author Biography
Joe Domanick is an award winning investigative journalist and author described in the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most outspoken of the breed...a muckraking journalist...[who] continues to pound away at police officials...and other civic center hotshots. In pen and in person he's got a tough and hungry manner that makes them uncomfortable." Currently he is a Senior Fellow in Criminal Justice at the University of Southern California's Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism, and is the author of Cruel Justice: Three Strikes and the Politics of Crime in America's Golden State.
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