Episode 03: Black and Blue - Pt. 3 A Conversation with a Black Police Officer


What does it mean to black and a police officer in America? How do black officers manage potentially competing demands to protect their brothers and sisters in the struggle and their brothers and sisters in blue? We explored these questions with Officer James, a black man and a 10-years veteran in a northeast police department. Officer James begins by providing insight into why he became a police officer (08:55) and what he likes most about the job (10:00). He talks about strengths and opportunities for growth in policing (11:55) and his perspective on the difference between a “cop” and an “police officer” and how the difference contributes to negative citizen-police interactions (15:30). Officer James also talks about how he balances the tension between being a police officer and a black man in America (22:13) and how his past experiences on the other side of the law help him in his role a police officer (48:28). Officer James also provides practical advice on how to interact with police (36:52 and 1:05:00).

Other topics include:

27:00 - The media and answering for the sins of “cops”

41:53 - Parenting Black Children as a Officer

45:10 - Being Pulled Over in Plainclothes

46:40 - The importance of knowing the law

55:00 - “Fitting the Description”

1:00:55 - The relationship between police and the DA

1:15:15 - Ty and Daphne Reflect on the Interview

Resources

Know Your Rights - https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-if-youre-stopped-police-immigration-agents-or-fbi

Flex Your Rights Resource Website - https://www.flexyourrights.org/about-us/

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