The Bate Case

Police Brutality Pt. I

On Wednesday evening, September 19, 1923 about 11 pm, James H. (Harry) Bate was tired. It had been a long day. After working a full shift as Assistant Head Janitor for the Los Angeles County Courthouse and Hall of Records buildings, he’d attended a meeting of his lodge at the Odd Fellows Hall on Wall Street between Seventh and Eighth Streets, where he was secretary, then stopped in at his church, the Second Baptist Church at 740 Maple Avenue, where he served as treasurer. Now, lugging records from both institutions in a pair of suitcases, the 64-year-old walked north the half-block to the corner of Seventh and Maple where he would catch a streetcar home (1).

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The Collins Case

On March 14, 1928, Christine Collins went to police headquarters on West First Street to report that her 9-year-old son Walter had been missing for four days. Collins told Captain Joseph J. Jones, head of the juvenile division, that she believed Walter had been kidnapped by enemies of her husband- also named Walter- who was then doing time in prison.

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