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.
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.