Excerpts from Walking the Blue Line

“As I recall my experiences, I find it incredulous that people in law enforcement honestly believe and say that a racial divide and racial profiling don’t exist. An officer’s mind is divided: first, between the police and the general public and second, between the police and minorities.”

 

“An officer could not question another officer’s words or actions in front of someone else.
If you did, that officer would feel like you were undercutting them and would retaliate. In the street, if a police officer said or did something, you backed them up, regardless.

A Sargent drilled this into my head. The first night of working for him, he took me into an interrogation room and told me that I would see some things happen on the street. He said that it would be in my best interest to do what I was told and follow the lead of the more seasoned officers. If I complied and did not cause any problems, I would be okay.
This would not be the last time that I was given this specific advice.”

 

“As a young officer, I was taught that racial profiling was a useful and necessary tool whose application assisted police in conducting investigations. Racial profiling began with examining a person’s or thing’s “fit.” If the “fit” was wrong or inconsistent, then it would warrant investigation. For example if a car doesn’t “fit” in a neighborhood, it might be stolen.”

 

“An officer’s career is based on statistics (stats). They are rewarded for compiling stats related to arrests, especially drug arrests. They are not rewarded for being “Officer Friendly” who helped people and families work through personal issues and improve communication.

Higher stats numbers result in better treatment by commanding officers, and increased possibility of promotion or a transfer to a more desirable work assignment. To become an officer that is valued by superiors, they have to make arrests for a variety of crimes and make sure that those arrested spend time in jail or prison.”

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