From the Archives: LAPD battering ram

Feb. 18, 1986: A Los Angeles Police Department battering ram sits next to a South Los Angeles home damaged during a police raid.
(Jack Gaunt / Los Angeles Times)

The house was suspected of being a center for drug dealing. A Uzi submachine gun and eight other firearms were found inside. A second nearby home also was raided. Seven suspects were detained.

It was the fifth time the six-ton armored vehicle equipped with a 14-foot steel battering ram had been used in LAPD raids.

Just a week earlier, on Feb. 10, the Los Angeles Times ran an article headlined “A Ram at Rest.” The article by Patricia Klein began:


A six-ton tank with a 14-foot steel battering ram, hailed last year by Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates as a revolutionary new weapon in the war against drugs, pretty much sits idle these days, except for occasional spins around a downtown parking lot to keep its battery from dying. …

... The machine that Gates last year vowed to use “over and over and over again whenever appropriate” to smash down the walls of suspected cocaine rock houses had not been used to blitz a single rock house since last April, officials said.

A week later, the ram was in action, and Los Angeles Times staff photographer Jack Gaunt got this photo.

This post was originally published on Oct. 26, 2010.

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