Don’t Mix Up The Studio One Star With The First Black LAPD Chief, Who Passed Away Today

What’s in a name? Willie L. Williams became Los Angeles’ first African American police chief in the aftermath of the 1992 riots,  died today of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72, reports the L.A. Times. Williams stepped into the top job at the LAPD at a sensitive time, as the department reeled from criticism over its handling of the riots and Los Angeles struggled to mend racial divides. He replaced Daryl Gates, who had long been criticized for running a department that mistreated minority groups, particularly blacks, in Los Angeles. Williams helped usher in a series of reforms in the wake of the Rodney J. King beating. Under him, the department grew by 2,000 officers and the LAPD adopted more “community policing” strategies that were designed to be less confrontational than Gates’ methods. He won credit for restoring confidence to the department. “I was the guinea pig” he once told a Times reporter. Audio After The Jump…

DISAMBIGUATION: The late Willie Williams is not to be confused with the reggae artist Willi Williams, who is very much alive and kicking. Born in the Jamaican parish of Saint Ann, this Mr. Williams (not to be confused with that Mr. Williamz) attended Trenchtown Comprehensive High School where he was a classmate of legendary drum master Sly Dunbar. He began recording at Sir Coxsone’s Studio One while still in school, and in the late 1970s recorded the classic single “Armagideon Time” on the immortal “Real Rock” featuring tasty organ licks by master keyboardist Jackie Mittoo. The apocalyptic Rasta anthem—with its immortal lyric, “A lotta people won’t get no justice tonight”—was covered by The Clash in 1980 (with a heavy rubadub mix courtesy of the late great Mikey Dread on the crucial 10” vinyl Black Market Clash) and sampled by The Fugees in 1996, and interpolated by countless other artists. No more long talking—run the track!

“A Lotta People Won’t Get No Justice Tonight” Run that…

“In Comes The Clash Inna Punky Reggae Stylee” Kick It Over…

Like Boomshots on Facebook.

Subscribe to Boomshots TV

Follow @Boomshots