Once a Cop: My Journey from Former Crack Dealer to the Highest Ranks of the NYPD

Corey Pegues. Atria, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5011-1049-8
In this gripping memoir, former street dealer and retired N.Y.C. police inspector Corey Pegues documents a life on both sides of the law. As a teenager from an impoverished home in Queens, Pegues fell into the drug game just as crack cocaine flooded the marketplace in the mid-1980s. Working for the infamous “Supreme Team” brought Pegues money and prestige, but he was dismayed by the growing violence around him. Soon after graduating high school, Pegues escaped to the army and later joined the NYPD. Pegues faced prejudice for being African-American in a predominantly white organization, but still rose to the rank of deputy inspector despite concerns about his “urban” attire and outspoken positions. The book falls into two sections: Pegues narrates his criminal days in intimate close-up, while taking a more distanced perspective on his years as a cop. Although Pegues remains loyal to the badge, he criticizes the department’s old boy network and conflicts with minority neighborhoods, including the excesses of programs such as “Stop, Question, and Frisk.” In 2015, Pegues’s disclosure of his criminal past ignited controversy and led to a police raid of his Long Island home, a backlash that highlights just how far the NYPD remains from serving all New Yorkers. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 05/24/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-5011-1051-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-1029-1
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-5011-1050-4
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