Willie L. Williams was born on October 1, 1943, and died on April 27, 2016.
He was the former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1992 to 1997, taking over after chief Daryl Gates’ resignation following the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
He was the first African-American police commissioner of both the Philadelphia Police Department and the LAPD.
As chief of the LAPD, he attempted to create a positive image of the department and close the rift created between the police and black neighborhoods by the violent arrest of Rodney King in 1991.
Willie published Taking Back Our Streets: Fighting Crime in America, in 1996, co-written with Bruce Henderson.
That book explained Williams’s philosophy of community policing and his efforts to revive and retain a demoralized police force.
During the year 1997, the Los Angeles Police Commission refused to renew his contract, citing Williams’ failure to fulfill his mandate to create meaningful change in the department in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
During 2002, he was named federal security director for Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta by then U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.
Willie L. Williams passed away at 72 yrs old.