As former first lady Nancy Reagan stood by and watched Thursday evening, the Police Department’s SWAT team carried out a drug raid at a small, heavily protected house near Main and 51st streets in South-Central Los Angeles.
Officers arrested 14 men and women for investigation of various drug-related offenses.
While investigators searched the house and secured the arrests, Mrs. Reagan and police Chief Daryl F. Gates sat in an air-conditioned motor home, with the words “The Establishment” emblazoned on the front, and munched on fruit salad.
Mrs. Reagan, who wore blue jeans and a police windbreaker with her name on the front, could be seen freshening her makeup. Later, she stood in front of the house and told reporters, “These people in here are beyond the point of teaching and rehabilitating. There’s no life, and that’s very discouraging.”
Gates said he invited Mrs. Reagan to witness the drug bust--the third time the house, whose metal security front door was riddled with bullet holes, had been raided since January.
Hundreds of residents gathered to watch the raid. “Hey, Nancy Reagan. She’s over here in the ghetto!” shouted one.