Los Angeles Times columnist Hector Tobar profiles Connie Gordon, a 64-year-old retired LAPD cop. Gordon knows the Los Angeles Police Department as both an insider and an outsider. Tobar writes, "I went to South L.A. to talk to him because he has a surplus of something often lacking in the debate over police reform: perspective." Gordon makes a point of carefully observing his former police colleagues. He says, "There's a lot of good, enforcement-minded guys out here," he said. "A few of the guys get out of their cars and they'll have a conversation. But some don't even try to relate."
Tobar writes of Gordon, "He grew up in South L.A. when it seethed and burned in the 1960s and many of his neighbors saw police as the enemy. Then he spent his LAPD career arresting bad guys in a wide variety of assignments, including downtown, the Westside, narcotics and vice. Now he's a civilian again. Not long ago, he was standing at the tailgate of his SUV talking to some homeless guys — which apparently qualified as a suspicious act to an LAPD officer cruising past. The officer demanded that Gordon and his friends place their hands on their heads. Gordon felt the officer's attitude was 'caustic' and refused."