1984 Official Olympics Police State, Los AngelesPrimary Artist: Steven Oscharoff and Judy Statsinger

Created: Los Angeles Collective, 1984

Medium: Silkscreen

Dimensions: 19″ x 25.25″

Under the pretext of keeping order during the during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Police Chief Daryl Gates expanded his so-called “police gang sweeps.” This resulted in South Central and East L.A. coming under military occupation by the police department. Old “anti- syndicalism” laws from the 1920s were resurrected and used to jail masses of Black youth. The majority of those arrested were never charged. After the Olympics was over, Gates kept his department in what he called “Olympic mode,” institutionalizing the police occupation of the South Central and East L.A. From 1984–89, there was a 33 percent increase in citizen police brutality complaints against the L.A. Police. As Gates said after the Olympics, “I think that people believe that the only [policing] strategy is to harass people and make arrests for inconsequential types of things. Well, that’s part of our strategy, no doubt about it.”

See feature article in this issue of Breakthrough.

Image: Olympic Symbols shown as barbed wire at the top. Police line with batons at the bottom. Witten on each helmet(left to right) CIA. FBI, LAPD, INS, NATIONAL GUARD, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE.

Words: L.A. ’84… Official Olympics Police State.

Colors: red, green and black on white paper

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