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A Matter of Perspective

Patricia Sullivan

I'm working on an obit of a former deputy chief of police in Washington, and as I write, it occurs to me how much depends on perspective. This man was known within the police force as "Gentleman Jim," and by demonstrators in the 1960s and 1970s as "Mad Dog Davis." He was a black guy in a mostly white police force and it took him more than a dozen years to be promoted from private to corporal -- because that just wasn't done in the 30s, 40s and early 50s in the Southern town of Washington D.C. Eventually, he rose to deputy chief in charge of the whole patrol division and retired before the city got its first African-American police chief.

Wish I had a way to show you some of the photos from that era in this blog. The obit will run in the next few days, and when it does, I'll link to it.
... And here it is: Owen White Davis.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  November 2, 2007; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan  
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