10 Black Police Officers Share What the Job Is Like in the Face of the Protests

There’s a fairly intense movement in America these days to do something re: policing and the shooting of unarmed Black citizens.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been growing on the ground and seems to be reaching a fever pitch.

What we don’t talk about much, though, are the Black men and women who wear the badge, and how this conflict of community might affect them – if you’re curious, 10 Black officers are delving into the topic below!

10. It’s hard to blame them.

I know a lot of times black cops are seen as race traitors by BLM.

In fact, most of the police chiefs that have resigned over BLM protests are black.

9. Props for being proactive.

My dads a black officer. He says it’s tough because he always got hate by both sides, BLM groups and fellow officers, but now it’s kinda on steroids.

It actually made my dad start a group called Police Against Racism (PAR for short) and it’s a movement that is trying to teach police officers how to get rid of racism from inside of their departments and also ways to make sure they don’t end up on the news with charges because they did something that can be mistaken for being racist.

I think my dad being a cop and me and my family being black is actually really good for us. Instead of looking at things from one side, we are able to see both and all sides of what’s going on. I believe that if my dad wasn’t a cop, I would be looking at cops a lot differently and I wouldn’t like them at all.

But not many kids grow up hanging out in a police station as much as I do and being dropped off to school in one of my dad’s buddies squad car. You really get to see that not all cops are just a bunch of racist white people with guns (even though some of them are). I get tired of trying to convince kids at school that my dad and his cop friends aren’t racist and it’s also heard to convince people that some cops are racist. It really just depends on perspective and if you are open enough to look from others perspective.

8. It’s not easy.

I have a family member who is a black cop in a well populated city in Canada. So different experience but close enough.

He’s been shafted almost his entire career at every turn of advancement. He does not like how the policing system is set up and so completely switched from active police duty to an almost entirely community focused cop. He’s the cop they send to festivals, to violent schools in sketchy neighborhoods etc and HE LOVES IT. This is what he was meant to do he believes.

So that’s been going on for quite a few years now and relatively well minus the fighting for resources in a system that doesn’t care about the community.

With the rise of the BLM movement and especially through 2020, he has been deliberately targeted by those above him in power. He’s not just a regular cop, he has titles and status and they still are able to come for him bc his district collectively hates him and his involvement in the community. Over the summer they took away his office and other things so now he sits at the lunch table and tries to get stuff done as a one man band.

It’s really really hard for him. He and our family continue to speak out etc but the more we promote BLM and Canadian accountability the more severely he’s punished for it.

7. Engage with critical thought.

Alright I’m an actual black male cop 25yo so I’m relatively new to this. I’ve studied criminal justice for 4 years at uni before becoming a police officer.Being a field of work like this during this BLM movement is honestly strange to say the least.

I will be the first to admit there’s a huge bias amongst officer against other officers. Not all, but there’s a majority here that follows the blue line brotherhood mentality. In Academy and during training they emphasize the importance of racial bias training and I can’t speak for all departments, but ours specifically has a no racial bias tolerance meaning they can fire you immediately if Investigation finds any evidence or history of it.

Now that’s on paper and all of this would work work in theory. The BLM movement is considered to be ANTIFA movement with most of the officers here, and You will be judge severely if you represent any form of BLM in any capacity. Initially it may seem harsh but that’s kind of the nature of the beast here. Good Officers do give their lives and strive to make their communities better every time they put the uniform on, and when there’s Preemptive judging on any groups behalf, it becomes difficult to feel any sense of gratitude.

Me personally, I take each case of police brutality on a case by case basis. I don’t always side with BLM and I get judge for that as a black man first before an officer amongst my family and friends and I’m okay with it. I also do not back obvious cases of police brutality such as George Floyd. I always wait until the facts come out first so I can have reasoning for my sway.

Honestly at the end of the day it’s difficult and I can’t fully pick a side because I think the truth falls somewhere more in the middle, both sides should not judge and because there’s a title or headline that says a black male/female was shot by an officer we can’t jump down throats and form a herd mentality. I get judge everyday for my uniform and my color and I have to be okay with it otherwise I would not be able to do my job the way needs to be done, and I wouldn’t be able to impact the community the way I want to.

6. Not too surprising.

People who hate cops don’t see race. All the see is “blue and a badge” “they all look alike to me”.

I get flipped of driving between Oakland and Martinez in my VETERANS AFFAIRS… police vehicle.

All they see is police not a black guy driving it. Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?

5. No place to call home.

So my neighbor is a Black Police officer. His son is about 2 years younger than me so our families are actually pretty close. We consider each other family.

I actually asked him this question a while back because we had a protest turn “riot” (it wasn’t as bad as some places) and I asked him what it was like and he said it was frustrating because he had people coming up to him yelling “N**ger hater” calling him a “traitor” and just things like that, AND HE WAS JUST STANDING THERE he was minding his own business making sure people were safe and they came up to him and we’re being unnecessary aggressive towards him.

He said he hated it because he became a cop to help and keep people safe and now he has people treating him like that and for no reason. They weren’t helping their cause by yelling at him and acting like he “turned his back on his people”.

It’s really sad too cus he’s a super nice guy, great dad, he’s taken me on so many camping trips just cus me and his son were so close. I’ve seen him on the job too and he’s super friendly.

4. A rock and a hard place.

Throwaway and I’m not going to verify for obvious reasons, so take it or leave it.

I would say it’s often times more difficult than being a white police officer. I’m often singled out (typically in larger crowd situations) by black people within the crowd and called racial slurs.

I obviously support the belief that black lives matter, but I’m not a fan of some of the “supporters” who use the term to justify burning and looting.

3. They get it from both sides.

Not a Black Police Officer but a Mulatto Corrections Officer, so my experiences are different but here are a few general things.

Inmates are using BLM as an excuse for damn near everything. From bugging other inmates on the phone, trying to go into unauthorized area, and resisting restraint (last one was high off of k2, naked, and pissing everywhere to put that in perspective for my jail).

Fellow COs bitching about the movement while not understanding what it’s about and that the saying of “the few does not reflect the whole” applies to more then dirty cops.

Both sides expect me to be on their side, saying the color of my skin/uniform decided that for me and not my personal beliefs. Beliefs that support the BLM and its push for accountability but think the rioters and looters are tainting it (even if most of them are just opportunists they are being tacked on by every news outlet). I also sympathized with Blue Lives Matter in the idea that I understand that they’re feelings that people are disregarding the fact they out their lives on the line for them.

Both have a point and have the same solution. Start weeding out the bad officers, I know they piss uniforms off too.

2. There are roadblocks to change.

Again, Corrections so I’m a different animal but when we do report it there are 3 roadblocks. 1) Time. They aren’t just going to.take my word for it and are going to investigate it. Which may lead to other corrupts warning them in advance or inmates somehow warning them as well. 2) The guys in charge of the investigation are either bad at their job or demonized by the rest of the blues because they “take away officers jobs”. And 3) The Admin/White Shirts/politicians not wanting the incident to make the papers and make them look bad.

What those guys don’t realize is that if we do bring these fucks to light we actually look good. I know some of my coworkers are saying we can’t so that now in this environment because the protestors would tear us apart. I don’t think they would, I think they would be glad, happy to see that those within the system actually hate scumbags who abuse their authority too.

But I just wear blue and don’t know better.

1. Both sides have a point.

Throwaway account, but I’m not a black officer but I am POC and former cop. I worked in predominantly black city with police department being 60 percent black.

I left right at the beginning of BLM movement, when some of the people in the movement had started targeting cops. Several officers were targeted in my state and we had lost several officers to ambushes.

I understand what both sides want, since I have been stopped as a person of color before I was a cop but I was never subjugated to any kind of abuse. When I was a cop, I never had time to actually stop people for traffic violations, my city is underfunded and our police department was always short of officers. I’ll note by saying that I never stopped anyone because of their skin color unless they matched a description of a crime.

I even had a complaint of something like this but I was exonerated by body cameras and car camera, as the complaint was from someone not at the scene, and I’m on camera apologizing to the man that I had handcuffed and explained why I approached him and handcuffed him. His wife complained saying I had my gun on his head and telling everyone to shut the fuck up. She was not there and never took my gun out on the call.

As for the bad cops, I went in with roughly 30 recruits, we had one guy that as a collective we were like this dude is nuts and shouldn’t be a cop but not cause he’s racist, he’s just really fucking weird and shouldn’t be a cop. But the department is hurting for bodies so anyone that can pass a background check and a polygraph will get hired.

The biggest issues for the black officers, were that a lot of positions above sergeant were not black, most of our LT’s, Captains, commanders, and head of departments were white, but that was changing a lot, since our chief was black and they were moving a lot of the old white dudes out to retirement.

One of the most interesting things was watching older officers struggle with BLM, pretty much everyone my age that is a minority sympathies with BLM to an extent. The younger generation understands the movement and while there are plenty of officers that don’t agree with defund the police part, don’t like watching videos of people being murdered.

What always amazes me is that no one thought to call the movement deescalate the police. Move more funding into social working with domestic abuse and mentally handicapped.

I’m definitely not envious of these people.

If you’re a Black officer, give us your thoughts in the comments!