Matthew Horace worked in law enforcement for almost 3 decades. As an African American he’s witnessed first-hand the racism that exists in police departments He also saw how racism impacts the communities that the police force is charged with serving. He’s written about his experiences in his new book, the Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement.
Horace was exposed to the use of racial slurs and disproportionate treatment of minorities. “I was on a surveillance and a colleague yelled the N word into a car of African American youth who almost hit us at a traffic accident. In another case, I was doing an undercover operation where a police officer mistook me for the suspect, and the suspect was a short Hispanic male, and I was a tall, African American heavy set male, and he didn’t even know I was a police officer.” Often, police officers aren’t prosecuted after a fatal shooting of an unarmed person, and the narrative that comes forth from this is that they’re “bad apples”, yet Horace’s book puts forth the idea that it’s a systematic issue.
The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement looks to open a dialogue on how the rift between the public and law enforcement. The book proposes criminal justice reform in the United States that addresses hiring, recruitment, retention, promotion of minorities in law enforcement, and that the police force should represent the communities that they’re charged with protecting.
Horace will be speaking about his book at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library on Thursday, Feb. 21st from 6 to 8pm. Council member Alex Brooks will be in attendance, as well as journalist Ruby Fields, who will be hosting a Q and A.