by Duane Preimsberger


July 24, 2008 was a good day for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Boxing Team. Their first Banquet was held at Stevens Steakhouse in the City of Commerce and the room designated for the event was filled with boxers and their families, support staff, coaches, referees and judges. Sheriff Lee Baca, Undersheriff Larry Waldie, Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka and a host of other VIP’s were in attendance. The Sheriff kicked off the event by remarking about the development and successes of the Boxing Team and a spinoff group of youngsters who are participating in a boxing program offered under the auspices of the Sheriff’s Youth Athletic League.


The formal program was brief and filled with poignant memories of past memorable fights and the presentation of Memorial Plaques to the families of those boxers who now square off in the big ring in the sky.

There were introductions of the many key players who have done so much to help along the boxing program. Of special note were Joe Valverde, a construction company owner and a long time friend of the Sheriff’s Department was recognized for his immeasurable contributions. Additionally, Hank Nagamine and Easie Williams got ovations for lending their coaching and training expertise to the Team when it was first formed.


Easie, who I hadn’t seen in many years, has retired as a Sergeant. He is still a familiar face in the Department and he is especially recognized for his contributions to the Boxing Team and the Youth Athletic League. He’s one of those people who is almost universally liked; his quiet, calm, friendly demeanor instantly make friends both within the Sheriff’s Department and in the Community as well. Easie is an LASD boxing coach/trainer legend and his reputation is well deserved. Today, because of his efforts and the efforts of others that he has brought into the Boxing Team program; The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Boxing Team has an international reputation as a world class group of law enforcement fighters.


One of the advantages of growing old is remembering unique incidents at odd times and at the banquet my mind clicked back to my first memorable, non-boxing contact with Easie that occurred in the late 1960’s when we were both assigned to Firestone Station.


It was a busy and sometimes challenging place to work. Burned out buildings left over from the August 1965 riots still remained as visible symbols of social upheaval. The Black Panthers prowled through the area, making threats against society and those in law enforcement. Firestone Station had been the recipient of gunfire and a bomb had been thrown into its parking lot; violent and destructive gangs were forming in the area and neighborhood drive-by shootings were occurring with tragic frequency. 


It was an unusually cold February, according to the weatherman, a cold front from Alaska had found its way into Southern California bring a cold, damp chill along with it. On the Friday night in question you could see your breath in the evening air and that’s when north-end Firestone radio cars began looking for the shooters in yet another drive-by. The description of the car left something to be desired, “a dark 1963 or later Chevrolet 2 door sedan.” That little gem of information narrowed the possibilities to the hundreds, but Firestone Deputies began stopping what they all hoped might be the right car.  


Easie and his partner pulled over a likely candidate Chevy with two young male occupants on Firestone Blvd. a few blocks west of Alameda St. I pulled in behind them as back-up and watched the incident unfold. The passenger, who apparently knew the drill as well as did the Deputies, got out of the car with his hands in plain view and assumed a pat down search position on the hood of the radio car. The driver, who Easie had approached, took on an entirely different reaction. To say that he was obnoxious, uncooperative, threatening, profane and obscene in his remarks was an understatement.


His voice got louder and louder as began a diatribe, lecturing Easie about his constitutional rights to be free from illegal search and seizure and to be able to enjoy, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without this obvious police harassment. He didn’t stop there; he began referring to Easie as having porcine relatives, limited intelligence and as one who engaged in maternal intercourse. He continued to add rather graphic and explicit comments and refused to exit from his car. The end result was that I could see steam coming off the back of Easie’s neck in the cold evening air and it was then that I learned Easie was an inventor and purveyor of new and unusual law enforcement tactics and techniques.


I’d been through the Sheriff’s Academy and had been in the field long enough to believe that the first step in doing a vehicle extraction involved opening the car door(s). That had been my perception and belief for close to 10 years.


On this evening I had an opportunity to view the Easie Williams Rapid Vehicle Extraction Technique and found it quite interesting and enjoyable to watch.  After several polite, unsuccessful directives to young Mr. Bad Mouth to exit the car, Easie reached into the open driver’s window and although I don’t know what he grabbed the high pitched yelps did gave me an idea. Then, in a very fluid motion, he extracted Mr. Mouth from the car via the open driver’s window. A very few seconds later the young man had assumed the proper position on the hood of the radio car next to his passenger and amazingly, after his transcendental levitation experience, he’d assumed a whole new, cooperative personality.


Easie turned to me with that shy, little boy smile on his face that is one of his trademarks and all I could say was: “Very nice move Easie, that’s one I’d never seen before!”


There weren’t any guns or expended casings in the car but there were several baggies of a green leafy substance that managed to get both occupants into handcuffs and into the backseat of Easie’s radio car.


Prior to that observation, I’d often thought that Easie Williams needed a middle name that would reflect his personality and in my mind, I’d selected Going as my choice. Easie “Going” Williams seemed to be a good fit for a guy who turned out to be a top notch Deputy Sheriff, an excellent Sergeant and a outstanding boxing trainer and coach. He’s another member of the Firestone cadre who I am honored to be able to call my friend and in spite of his unusual tactics in the streets of Firestone Station I’ll always remember him as an Easie Going guy.