It seems the LAPD, that stronghold of racial profiling and police brutality, has been playing fast and loose with its night stick for decades now. Sure, we’ve all heard of Rodney King, but what of the victims that came before? Case in point, former AMG model, Leonard Chambers. This handsome weightlifter, measuring 5′8″ and 165 lbs. during his last sitting with Bob Mizer, fell victim to the overzealous police force before Mr. King learned to walk. This rather down-beat editorial, and accompanying cover of the Summer 1956 edition of Physique Pictorial tell the story of how this budding physique model turned from Beefcake superstar to internal affairs statistic, in a matter of minutes.
From Physique Pictorial Vol. 6, Issue 2 (1956)
WAS THE KILLING OF LEONARD CHAMBERS BY TWO OFF-DUTY POLICEMEN “JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE”?
Acting in the employment of a private bail bondsman, two Southern California policemen forced Leonard Chambers to get in their private car for allegedly failing to appear on some traffic charges. They testified that Leonard pulled a gun on them even though they had previously searched him and had him handcuffed. In desperate “self-defense” they shot him twice in the back of the head. Leonard of course didn’t live to tell his side of the story. The coroner’s jurors dutifully declared this murder “justifiable homicide.” The next day after Leonard’s killing, another young man was pursued by Southland police officers who shot him in the back of the head while spread-eagling him over the hood of his car—but this young man did live to tell his story and have it collaborated by a number of witnesses. Ensuing investigation brought out that the police actually planted marijuana in the car to justify the ignoble deed. The policeman was suspended for 90 days, while the victim instead of being compensated was forced to pay the city $45 by one of Los Angeles’ most puerile judges, who seems to take pride in ignorant decisions.
The City of London handles its law enforcement problem quite effectively without its officers carrying guns, and consequently “accidental” shooting cannot occur. Instead of respect, admiration, and confidence, many American police departments seem more intent on establishing fear in their public relations. Do you believe killing is ever justified except to save another life? Ask your police chief what he thinks.
Heavy shit for a beefcake magazine, eh?