Column: Karen Bass’ Latino-Black family is everything the ugly audiotape is not about race. She, her husband and their two children, live in the same house on the same street as a man who was convicted of a serious crime decades ago.
The convicted pedophile, George Harvey, has always made sure his name is not repeated in the media, even though he is now a retired businessman, an ordained minister and a respected community leader.
But when Bass entered Harvey’s house, her own home, and saw his past transgressions, she did not turn a blind eye.
The former cop who now heads up the community policing program at the Los Angeles Police Foundation, recalls that in the early 1970s, Harvey lived in the same house with his “lovely” daughter, then a teenager, and her friend, as well as their two young sons who were also friends of the family.
“They were good kids,” Bass says. “They were well-behaved kids. Kids don’t behave like that.”
It was around those times that Harvey’s violent behavior began to take its toll on the family.
After the Los Angeles Times began looking into Harvey’s past, Bass, the daughter’s mother, went to Washington, D.C., to file a complaint about the former convicted felon into the Los Angeles-area FBI database.
Over the years, Bass’ story was repeated with a much wider reach, and even in California, where Harvey is from, his crimes were not as widely known as his family.
But, in the nearly three decades since the LAPD began asking officers from the community to report any “suspicious activity,” Bass’ story has appeared in newspapers across the nation, often alongside the name of a cop with his face plastered on TV and the Associated Press.
In 1984, Harvey’s crimes, and the resulting impact on his family, were well known to Bass, and perhaps others from the Los Angeles area who would listen to the tapes, and would make notes in their books or