Wilson Defends Gates, Says Chief Shouldn’t Quit

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Gov. Pete Wilson defended Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates Saturday from what he termed a “lynching,” and said he does not believe the embattled Gates should resign.

Wilson made his comments on “Capitol Gang,” a weekly Cable News Network commentary show broadcast Saturday evening, and on the program “One on One.”

Gates has come under heavy criticism since the March 3 police beating of black motorist Rodney G. King, which was videotaped by an amateur cameraman and has been televised nationwide.


Critics, including fellow police chiefs, have called for Gates’ ouster.

“I think that we’re watching the attempted lynching” of Gates, Wilson said.

“But I don’t think it will be successful and I don’t think it should be successful unless there can be a showing from an honest and an objective investigation that this is not an aberration, that instead it is a consistent pattern.

“But I don’t think it’s going to show that, because Daryl Gates, however glib or flip he may have been on occasion, is a dedicated law enforcement professional who has taken enormous pride in a department that I think is one of the best.”

Meanwhile, in another nationally televised interview broadcast Saturday, Wilson called the King beating “unrestrained brutality” and said the officers involved have been properly criminally charged.

Wilson said on John McLaughlin’s “One on One” program, which also airs today, that there is no place “in any police department anywhere” for the kind of beating he had witnessed on the tape.