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Jesse Kimbrough

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According to the Los Angeles Police Department, “Jesse Kimbrough joined the Department in 1915 as a reserve officer. He earned his official status in 1916. A decorated war hero, Kimbrough organized and played on the Department’s Black baseball team, the Lawmen, as their coach and catcher. Throughout the Depression, the popular Lawmen competed against local teams and visiting Negro League Baseball squads in a series of charity ball games.

The team’s efforts raised more than $10,000 in 1929 alone.  Kimbrough retired from the Department in 1939. A prolific writer, Kimbrough authored two published books – the semiautobiographical novel, Defender of the Angels, which chronicled his career as a police officer, and Brown Doughboy, a World War I narrative written from the perspective of a Black soldier. Defender of the Angels was originally published in 1969 on Kimbrough’s 77th birthday.” (The BEAT, February 2001)

Jesse Kimbrough is the author of Brown Doughboy and Defender of Angels.

Defender of the angels; a black policeman in old Los Angeles
Jess Kimbrough  More Info

According to the book description, Defender of the Angels “is Jesse Kimbrough's fictionalized account of his years as a LAPD policeman during the early decades of the last century. The book provides amazing insight into the period, police work and the inner thoughts of a black man struggling to reconcile his duty to serve and uphold laws in a society that restrains him based on the color of his skin.”

Joseph Wambaugh (author and former LAPD Detective Sergeant ) said of Defender of Angels,  it is “an honest and interesting document that tells a lot about...the LAPD in the early years of the last century.”

Sergeant John Thomas, LAPD, said of Defender of Angels, “An important, powerful work... Defender of the Angels provides invaluable insight into early black Los Angeles and the LAPD.”

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