I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing

This is a very detailed story from someone whose boots were on the ground.

The Fifth Column

A protest in Cleveland, Ohio, after police officer Michael Brelo was acquitted for the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. | Ricky Rhodes, Getty Image


On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with.

That’s a theory from my friend K.L. Williams, who has trained thousands of officers around the country in use of force. Based on what I experienced as a black man serving in the St. Louis Police Department for five years, I agree with him. I worked with men and women who became cops for all the right reasons — they really wanted to help make their communities better. And I…

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Posted on 05/28/2015, in Good Cops, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. scrodriguez

    I tweeted this out earlier this morning interesting and brutally honest read

  2. I still can’t bring myself to watch the video of John Crawford being murdered. This article is the most honest take on police brutality and abuse I’ve read to date.

  3. Am I allowed to post this on Facebook?

    • Rachael, sure. Just under the article are several icons. One is for Facebook. Click on it and it will give you prompts for posting to your Facebook page.

      • Thanks – I saw that, but I went to the article this was taken from so I wasn’t sure.

        • Oh Rachael, when I gave instructions for posting to Facebook, I forgot that this is a reblog. I’m so sorry. You are correct. When it’s a reblogged article, it’s best to post to Facebook from the source so those wanting to read it don’t have to go to two blogs. Of course, that’s only possible when the blogged that originates the article has social media widgets engaged. Some do not. Others do. I seldom check for Facebook because I don’t have a Facebook account.

  4. In the Police Department where I worked years ago (at a job I loved), it was the Police Chief who was the bad egg. As you can imagine, yolk runs downhill!

  5. This is sort of along the lines – sort of still on topic – 40 years after being convicted on the word of a seventh grade boy who later retracted his statement. :


    • That is horribly sad

    • Ricky Jackson is 58, spent nearly 40 years in prison!!!! That means all of his adult life. He has no social security retirement or retirement otherwise; no marriage; no savings; no driver’s license, and well — no life whatsoever. No amount of money can actually compensate for it.

  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    Outstanding article!

    Refreshing to have the truth presented in such an informative manner.

  7. Two sides to a story

    I wish every uninformed American who blindly supports the myth of the noble cop would read this. I learned early on as a teenager what abuse cops were dishing out by waitressing in a popular cop hangout. I was not amused, and became keenly aware that this behavior was normal all over the country – and that was over 40 years ago. The situation has only gotten worse, so it’s high time to crack down and reform both LE and the justice system.

  8. Very convincing post from a unique and experienced perspective. What we have here though, happens in other professions as well. Bad nursing through peer influence even though most of them became nurses to try to make a difference. Bad Teachers, who became disillusioned from their fantasies of making a difference to children/teenagers, Bad counsellors who lose their appetite for caring whether they help someone truly deal with their mental health issues or not… I can go on and on, It’s not just police. The story is the same in any profession that holds power and influence over others. And I can bet the statistics are not too far different.

    We cannot be naive enough to believe that everyone goes into their professions with noble ideas of making a positive contribution and differences to the betterment of society as a whole. There are many reasons people choose the professions they do… Money, Power, Prestige… and so on. Unfortunately those who do something purely for personal gain, tend to have strong personalities and therefore the power to influence others.

    • Kev, I agree. The closest I can see however, between members of law enforcement and nursing is that both careers have power over life and death. True, bad teachers, counselors, etc. can have a negative impact on life and it might be difficult for their students or client to recover, but not teaching, or giving the wrong advice, is not the same as having your brains shot out or being shot numerous times in the back.

      As the saying goes, money and power corrupts, so yes, that combination in the wrong hands can lead to all sorts of problems for others.

      • Your absolutely right about the teachers and counsellors… they were simply examples. The nurses definitely, and consultants, Surgeons etc. Any field that wield the power of life and death. I was horrified once in the hospital to overhear someone in a critical ward say, no resuscitation for someone and wondered if that was their choice, the families or the decision of the person in charge. It scares me to think it could be the latter.

        • Kev, yes! Those who have the power of life or death can make the rest of us concerned, frightened, and even distrusting. The problem with doctors is that when they make mistakes, they still want to be paid, and so does the hospital.

  9. It’ s madness and I doubt that there’s a cure.

    • Micheline, great seeing your fonts! The only cure is in the heart, and sadly, that is under the control of each individual. Still, I don’t think mankind will ever obtain a Utopia.

      • I agree. I doubt we will obtain a Utopia.

        • Micheline, true. Years ago, I prayed and asked for guidance in the direction to “pray for your enemies.” I asked, “What do I pray?” I’m still waiting on an answer. LOL! While waiting, I continue to follow “do no harm.” But God knows, I truly wish that the hurting and hating would stop.

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