The Law: The Black Crime Buster

To many Atlantans it smacked of capricious cronyism when Maynard Jackson Jr., the city's black mayor, appointed A. Reginald Eaves as commissioner of public safety in 1974. A blunt-spoken black lawyer whose chief qualification for the job appeared to be his friendship with Jackson, a college classmate, Eaves seemed totally unqualified to command the city's 1,500-man police force, then struggling ineffectively against a crime surge that had made Atlanta one of the homicide capitals of the U.S. But today the top cop is being cheered more than he is being jeered—even by some of his harshest early critics. Says Hal Gulliver,...

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