Former L.A. Police chief named interim police superintendent of Chicago Police Department

Charlie Beck

Black Lives Matter L.A. called the decision to hire him a terrible mistake

Others were milder in their criticism of Beck

By Frederick H. Lowe


Charlie Beck, former police chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, who was named interim police superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, has come under withering criticism from Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles because of the high number of in- custody police-involved deadly shootings that occurred during his tenure.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday named Beck, 66, interim replacement for Superintendent Eddie Johnson who is scheduled to retire at the end of the year. Chicago employs 13,500 sworn officers, making it the nation’s second largest police department.

Johnson’s retirement follows the resignation of James O’Neil, commissioner of the New York City Police Department, the nation’s largest police force.

Beck will serve as interim superintendent until a permanent replacement for Johnson is found. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel named Johnson superintendent April 13, 2016.

Beck joined the LAPD in 1977. He rose to the rank of chief of police, a rank he held from 2009 to 2018 when he retired June 27 of 2018, two years before his contract was scheduled to expire.

Over the course of his career, Beck has earned a reputation across law enforcement for his ability to forge traditional police methods with community outreach programs, Mayor Lightfoot’s office said in a statement.

“For the last several years, Chicago and Los Angeles have been partner cities in developing and implementing proven strategies to safeguard our communities and build community trust,” Beck said.

Black Lives Latter Los Angeles delivered a harsh assessment of Beck’s tenure. In an open letter to Chicago residents, posted on Facebook, the letter opened with “A warning from Black Lives Matter-Los Angele to Chicago Residents on Choosing Outsted LAPD Chief Superintendent—You don’t want him.”

The letter continued: “Under Beck, the Los Angeles Police Department became the most murderous police department in the nation with 45 officer-involved-shootings and in-custody deaths in 2017. A title they continue to proudly hold.”

Criticism about Beck from other blacks was relatively

Chicago police superintendent is stepping down


“Throughout his tenure within LAPD, we have not always seen eye-to-eye, but I was always certain that the chief would take my calls and would listen to what I had to say,” said Danny Bakewell Sr., publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel, a black newspaper, and chairman of Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade.

Pastor William Smart of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, said too much has happened during Beck’s watch that is detrimental to the black community and he never had a serious plan for recruiting African American officers.’



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