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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ED DAVIS WAS LA POLICE CHIEF FROM 1969 TO 1978

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

With the exception of the San Fernando Valley's independent cities (San Fernando city, Glendale, Burbank, Calabasas and Hidden Hills,  Edward Davis was our region of Southern California's police chief for nine long years. Very much a product of his post World War II ear, chief Davis to keep the City and the Valley "protected" (from his point of view) by enforcing procedures viewed unacceptable today. 
Fearful of anti-Vietnam War activists, Davis used undercover police to pose as students at LA Valley, Pierce College and newly created California State University Northridge. Under his orders, gays and lesbians lived in great fear, especially since Davis utilized entrapment as a major tool. Gay night clubs in the North Hollywood and Studio City areas, were regularly raided for news-worthy arrests. 
Ed Davis nurtured his "tough cop" image, and became world famous during his department's investigation of the Valley-based murders of the Charles Manson cult.

After his retirement, Ed Davis served in the California State Legislature, where he supported the community colleges, and the emerging rights of lesbians and gays.
I was doing an art project at Los Angeles International Airport, when I ran into Chief Davis. We had met when I was a graduate student at USC. I asked him for his autograph and he agreed. 27 April 1978. It was shortly after his retirement.


Ed Davis 1916 - 2005
Gifts to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gerald Fecht 2014.

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