“[Gates] was counting on the anarchy of the situation to expose itself so he could come in as a cowboy and a savior and be a hero and it would help him push himself up into some higher electoral office,” theorized the director John Singleton in 2017. “It backfired on him. It ended his career, actually, because he was too smug about it. He had no savoir faire; he was smug about it. And none of the city leaders or anybody in private life in Los Angeles would help him, come to his assistance.”“I said I was going to retire at the end of June,” Gates announced in June, “and my feeling is now, ‘Screw you, I’ll retire when I want to retire.’”“How many times have we been promised that he’d finally leave?” asked Mayor Bradley. “I think the people have had enough of Daryl Gates’ jerking them around.” A Chinese delivery place in West LA took out a billboard with Gates’ image and the slogan, “When You Can’t Leave the Office. Or Won’t.”
“Clearly we should have blown a few heads off.” - Daryl Gates
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Although Gates was nominally hired as the “author” of the fourth Police Quest, the game was chiefly written and designed by Tammy Dargan, a Sierra producer formerly of the television show America's Most Wanted. Gates gave her script notes. With Police Quest: Open Season, as it was called, Gates and Dargan would toss the existing series fiction, and ground it in the gritty, violent Los Angeles that Gates knew.When the media picked up on Gates’ new project, it seemed like it might generate the controversy for which Ken Williams had hoped. “He embodies all that is bad in law enforcement—the problems of the macho, racist, brutal police experience that we’re working hard to put behind us. That anyone would hire him for a project like us proves that some companies will do anything for the almighty dollar,” John Mack, the president of the Los Angeles Urban League, told the Dallas Morning News.“I don’t see this game causing any controversy. I was brought in for my experience,” Gates responded, but couldn’t help veering off message into the insidious: “I think good, ordinary, responsible, quiet citizens are going to be very supportive.”
Media and politicians are irresponsible irritants. An aggressive journalist overreacts when Carey lightly pushes her out of his way. If Carey speaks to the reporter, the lieutenant chews him out for sending the city into a panic. Speaking of the lieutenant, he’ll have Carey know that the mayor is on his ass. How unreasonable civilians can be!
All one can take from the case in Open Season is that the killer is “weird,” and to be weird is to deviate, and there is no greater threat to the establishment than deviancy.