The police beating of Rodney G. King touched off a fierce political battle between the city's two most powerful leaders--Mayor Tom Bradley and Police Chief Daryl F. Gates. The standoff over whether the chief should retire escalated in the months after the beating and transformed the debate into an unprecedented battle of wills. GATES
"It would be easy for me to pack up and go away. But I didn't put 42 years into this job to see it blow up in smoke. I'm not going to resign. I'm going to be here to make sure that what I say is done."
March 10, videotape to his 8,300-member force. "There are 8,300 members of this department who are depending on me to stay and to provide some leadership out of this situation. I believe I can provide that leadership and I will do that."
April 2, response to mayor's call for Gates to resign. "I feel I have been disgraced and defamed. I have done nothing wrong. What they have done is improper and we're going to prove that."
April 4, c ommenting after a Police Commission vote to temporarily relieve the chief of duty. I "didn't pop any champagne."
May 13, reaction after learning that a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that the City Council acted within its authority by preempting the Police Commission's vote to remove Gates. "I will tell you and everyone here that I will . . . leave the department."
May 29, statement that he would resign if the independent commission investigating the department found that his leadership created an atmosphere that led to the King beating. "The support I have within this organization and the community has been outstanding, and I am not going to just run away."
July 9, reaction to the commission report that blamed police leadership for failing to stop brutality and urged the chief to step down. "I agree that the transition should begin immediately. Let's get on with it."
July 22, announcing that he will retire in April, 1992.
"I'm gonna get out of here next year sometime. That's for sure."
Sept. 12, the chief states that he is rethinking his intention to leave in April. BRADLEY "I get letters from all over the country from people saying that I should fire Daryl Gates. But they don't understand that it can't be done. The charter doesn't allow it."
March 12, commenting after the mayor proposed an initiative to gain authority to fire the police chief and other top civil servants. "It would help . . . in the healing process if the chief would retire."
March 19, televised interview as calls for Gates' resignation and long-term police reforms intensify. "The Los Angeles Police Department is at a crossroads in its great history. When the public begins to lose confidence in the chief, and in the LAPD, the chief has only one choice. He must step aside."
April 2, a live televised address in which the mayor called on Gates to resign. "It is my hope that today's Police Commission action will give us all time to bridge the differences that have grown between us since the Rodney King incident."
April 4, commenting on the Los Angeles Police Commission vote to temporarily relieve Gates of duty until it completed a wide-ranging investigation. "Shocked and dismayed."
May 13, reaction after learning that a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that the City Council acted within its authority by preempting the Police Commission's vote to remove the chief. "I say to those who would block the road to change: Stand aside or we will leave you behind."
July 9, reaction to the commission report that blamed police leadership for failing to stop brutality and urged the chief to step down. "We have gone through 4 1/2 months of agony, of trauma, in this city. I am pleased that at long last we have a date to which we can now look forward to the replacement of Chief Gates."
July 22, after Gates' retirement announcement.