Brian S. Bentley
One Time: The Story of a South Central Los Angeles Police Officer Honor Without Integrity
"I love the power and
authority my badge and gun reprents."
How did it come to this?
How did an idealistic, middle-class college graduate wind up wearing a badge and pounding the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles? That's the question officer Bentley asked himself after eight years on the force, living and working in one of the toughest neighborhoods in America. His book titled One Time is a candid and brutal look at the life of a Black cop with the LAPD. Bentley says he became a police officer because he wanted to make a difference and to change even one life. Unfortunately, he found that the only life he changed was his own. He lost hope, gave in to episodes of violence and abuse while relishing the power given to him by his badge and his gun.
One Time is a hardcore look into the mind of a patrol officer working in South Central Los Angeles. The author uses personal testimony to illustrate how "da hood" changed him from a "community base" police officer into an aggressive predator of gang members. The LAPD recruitment posters forgot to mention that he would be shot at, called an Uncle Tom, and treated like an outsider by his partners because he grew up and lived in the neighborhood he patrolled. His Bachelors degree did not prepare him for a career with the LAPD.
One Time pulls no punches! The author recreates the joy, pain and frustrations he felt as he tried to do what was right. One Time brings great, dramatic stories of South Central Los Angeles to life. It is a story about the inner workings of America's most powerful institutions, the LAPD!
This is not a “feel good” book!
If you love the LAPD and standby all it represents... move on!
This isn't the book or website for you!
EXCERPTS FROM ONE TIME
* I then raised my gun up and hit the raging suspect in the face as hard a I could. A six inch gash instantly opened across his face. Blood squirted in the air like juice from a sliced orange. Still growling, the suspect refused to release his grip from around the officer’s throat. This time, I struck him over and over again until he gradually fell into a hopeless state of insensibility. As he finally released the grip on my partner’s throat, coagulated blood seeped between the cracks in his head. I was amazed at how bright the blood was. Through the dimness of the alley it almost seemed to glow a bright Burgundy color. Slowly, he collapsed to the ground and laid still as if dead.
“Oh shit! You’ve killed him,” my partner said.
* I thanked god I failed in all my attempts to hit the gang banger. If I had hit him, I probably would have seriously injured him. I realized my anger and violent behavior toward the suspect was not a result of the gunman’s actions. My behavior was a result of all the compounded frustrations I had experienced since coming on the job. South Central LA was smothering me. Working and living in the same area was beginning to take its toll on me.
* Even though the grace of God had saved me from committing one horrible act, my thoughts and intentions were still bad. The old adage, “What goes around, comes around” would soon hold true for me. All sorts of bad things started happening to me for no apparent reason. My only explanation was that somebody was trying to tell me something. I wasn’t right inside.
* I never went anywhere without my gun including to the bathroom. My worst fear was to have a carload of Rollin Thirty Crips on their way to do a drive-by recognize me while I was outside watering my yard and open fire on me. My next biggest fear was to have someone kick in my front door while I was on the toilet and literally catch me with my pants down. I was so paranoid about this that I couldn’t make a comfortable bowel movement without my gun resting at my feet. The thought of my coworkers standing over me laughing at my naked corpse was enough reason for me to be armed at all times.