During his 28-year career, Matthew Horace rose through the ranks from a police officer working the beat to a federal agent working criminal cases in some of the toughest communities in America to a highly decorated federal law enforcement executive managing high-profile investigations nationwide. Yet it was not until seven years into his service- when Horace found himself face down on the ground with a gun pointed at his head by a white fellow officer-that he fully understood the racism seething within America's police departments.
Through gut-wrenching reportage, on-the-ground research, and personal accounts from interviews with police and government officials around the country, Horace presents an insider's examination of archaic police tactics. He dissects some of the nation's most highly publicized police shootings and communities to explain how these systems and tactics have hurt the people they serve, revealing the mistakes that have stoked racist policing, sky-high incarceration rates, and an epidemic of violence.
"Horace's authority as an experienced officer, as well as his obvious integrity and courage, provides the book with a gravitas." -- The Washington Post
"The Black and the Blue is an affirmation of the critical need for criminal justice reform, all the more urgent because itcomes from an insider who respects his profession yet is willing to reveal its flaws." -- USA Today
The hidden dysfunctions in American policing are laid bare in this searching expos . Horace, a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and a CNN analyst, explores the "implicit bias" and overt racism that makes black people the targets of profiling, harassment, beatings, and unjustified gunfire from cops. He surveys a horrific litany of recent police killings of unarmed, unthreatening African-Americans, revisiting notorious cases like the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo. (he doesn't opine about the killing, but probes the abusive ticketing of black citizens to drum up city revenue that preceded it and the leaving of Brown's body in the street following it), and the Laquan McDonald shooting in Chicago, after which public outcry forced officials to release damning video evidence that revealed a police cover-up and led to an officer being indicted for murder. Horace adds his own fraught experiences: as an officer for 28 years, trying to defuse violent situations and almost getting shot by a white cop who assumed that he was a perp; as a civilian, getting mauled by a police dog and stopped, while driving, for spurious reasons that his white friends never experienced. Horace and coauthor Harris write sympathetically of the dilemmas of policing, but are uncompromising in their indictment of abuses. Horace's street cred and hard-won insights make this one of the best treatments yet of police misconduct.
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Sergeant Benny Handley
Excellent book. A must read for every law enforcement officer!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Black and the Blue. It was hard to read because of all of the unbelievable injustices done to African Americans. The injustices weren't only done by police officers, they were also done by other African Americans. How sad on both fronts. But the book confirmed what I already knew, that all police officers aren't bad.