Report to the Commissioner Author:James Mills In June 1971 Bo Lockley, the youngest detective on the New York City police force, tracked down and then shot and killed another detective, narcotics undercover agent Patricia Butler, in a Times Square loft. Less than thirty-six hours later, Lockely was arrested and charged with murder in the first degree. — The resulting scandal split the New Y... more »ork City Police Department wide open. The chief of the narcotics bureau retired under pressure and the captain in charge of all undercovers was suspended. Almost every man in the narcotics bureau was either reassigned or retired, and the entire detective division went through a complete reorganization. The Police Commissioner demanded from the Internal Affairs Division a complete, highly confidential report on the Lockley-Butler incident. That report--in the form of transcripts of taped interviews as well as the Police Department documents pertaining to the Butler homicide and subsequent investigation--constitutes this book.
REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER is a story of one young man's innocence, and the self-serving efforts of his superiors to use him and finally to sacrifice him for their own salvation. It is a story of idealism against cynicism, of naivete against experience, of youth against age. And it is a brilliant exploration of the brutalizing forces that afflict not just one police department but contemporary society at large.
James Mills has shown in his two previous books, THE PROSECUTOR and THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK, and his superb articles for LIFE, an extraordinary insight into the lives of men involved in crime and justice. In REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER, Mr. Mills has shifted from reporter to novelist. For this is actually a work of fiction, though one so thoroughly authentic in its background and so compelling in its details that many readers will find it hard to believe that the Lockley-Butler affair did not take place exactly as presented here. It is a stunning tour de force.« less