The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement

Matthew Horace and Ron Harris. Hachette, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-0-316-44008-0
The hidden dysfunctions in American policing are laid bare in this searching exposé. 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. Agent: Carol Mann, the Carol Mann Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2018
Release date: 08/07/2018
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