STAPLE OF POLICE ENTERTAINMENT
In September 1972, the fun loving citizens of East Los Angeles got
together for an event called, "Let's Burn Down Whittier Blvd.".
We also got to participate as the opposing team.
The first 4-5 days were pretty hairy, but after the initial
excitement, we had to devise our own amusements. Mostly we
stopped groups and carloads of young male Mexicans
who comprised the home team. Today, that's called "profiling"
and it's discouraged; then, it was called "selective enforcement"
and it was quite effective. Among the items we confiscated were
guns and knives, beer and dope, and spray paint cans. I'm sure
you've noticed kids nowadays with brightly colored hair. Well,
there were kids with brightly colored hair then, too.....only they
didn't do it; we did it! My shift was 6 PM to 6 AM and after
awhile as my attention waned, I noticed the mobile Command Post,
parked in the SEB back lot. Was anybody in there? Exactly WHO was
in there? I forgot to mention another item we confiscated:
firecrackers! A staple of police entertainment. A fuse is a simple
thing, really. A cigarette is designed to keep burning and it's
about ten minutes from tip to filter. Poke a hole through the
cigarette with your pencil near the filter, push the fuse of the
package of firecrackers through the hole and secure it with a bit
of tape. Voila! To complete the recipe toss the device discreetly
under the Command Post, gas up quickly, and remove yourself to a
safe distance to observe. It must have sounded, inside the trailer,
like a machine gun. What a mad scramble! Those guys with brass on
their collars got to experience firsthand something like
the adrenalin rush we had been experiencing for awhile. It was so
discreet there were no official repercussions, just a lot of bluster
on the radio.
Moral: Invite cops to a party and there's no telling WHAT will happen!