(CBS) - Daryl Gates, the lightning rod Los Angeles police chief whose career will be forever linked to Rodney King and the city's deadly 1992 riots, has died after a short battle with bladder cancer. He was 83.
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that Gates died Friday at his Newport Beach home with his family at his bedside.
pagebreakHis 14-year tenure as chief ended amid widespread criticism over his department's response to the four-day riot that broke out, after four white police officers were acquitted of most charges in the beating of Rodney King, after the black man was pulled over for speeding.
Gates was well liked by rank-and-file police officers. He was also a tart-tongued career cop with a short fuse and a penchant for making controversial statements.
Police Chief Charlie Beck called Gates "a one-in-a-million human being." Former Chief William Bratton said Gates "enjoyed being in the middle of the bull's-eye."