Cop: A True Story

Michael L. Middleton, Author
Michael L. Middleton, Author McGraw-Hill/Contemporary $19.95 (280p) ISBN 978-0-8092-3736-4
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-8092-2540-8
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Middleton joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1966 and served for 21 years, reaching the rank of sergeant before he retired. His chronicle of his experiences is a top-flight view of police work at the street level, where an officer's death is an ever-present possibility and physical battles with suspects are frequent. Middleton's anecdotal history is grouped into subjects such as heroism, the ``us against them'' police mentality, drugs, gangs and deadly force. He is optimistic about certain aspects of the LAPD, reporting that many of the racist and sexist officers have retired; but he ends on an exceedingly pessimistic note, opining that the 1992 post-Rodney King verdict riots showed that there have been no vast changes in L.A. ghetto life. Middleton provides one of the most dramatic depictions of gritty police work in memory. (Mar.)
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