cover image An Inconvenient Cop: My Fight to Change Policing in America

An Inconvenient Cop: My Fight to Change Policing in America

Edwin Raymond, with Jon Sternfeld. Viking, $29 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-65316-6

In this searing memoir, 14-year NYPD veteran Raymond argues that New York City is “the red-hot center of the problem” of racially motivated police brutality. The son of Haitian immigrants in Brooklyn, Raymond lived in poverty following his mother’s death and father’s subsequent depression and unemployment. Despite his peers’ distrust of law enforcement, Raymond was drawn to policing as a teenager after seeing a Haitian family friend in uniform: the “respect hovering over him... reframed for me what being police could mean.” Yet once he joined the force, Raymond became disillusioned by a system of policing that discouraged him from interacting with his community. He recounts being ostracized by colleagues for his support of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests against police brutality and his alliance with Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory, and explains how the NYPD’s embrace of “broken windows policing” and use of CompStat technologies incentivizes arrest quotas and encourages racism. Combining personal anecdotes and painstaking research, Raymond passionately advocates for wholesale police reform, arguing with convincing clarity that “when you toss out bad apples, you’re not changing a damn thing.” This is a gutting and essential take on a hot-button issue. Agent: Susan Golomb, Writers House. (Oct.)