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A black cop’s frank look at tensions between police, communities of color

Matthew Horace was a police officer and supervisor for 28 years.

Matthew Horace was a police officer and supervisor for 28 years. | Provided photo

In “The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement” (Hachette, $17.99), Matthew Horace presents an often-wrenching take on the tensions between police and communities of color from his vantage as a cop for 28 years who patrolled the streets and supervised officers from New Jersey to Colorado.

There is frank discussion about bigoted cops, outdated procedures and fledgling signs of reform. Horace, who’s African-American, also offers black officers who speak of the tightrope they walk between black citizens whose experiences with the law have left them weary and colleagues resistant to change.

Horace, who wrote the book with former Los Angeles Times reporter Ron Harris, understands how the decisions that officers make can go awry in a split second.

But he also knows what it’s like to be racially profiled. Eight years into his career, he found himself splayed on the ground as a white cop pointed a gun at his head.

“The Black and the Blue” is an affirmation of the critical need for criminal justice reform, all the more urgent because it comes from an insider who respects his profession but acknowledges its flaws.