Black Officers Reflect On Being Considered Traitors In Community
With the Black Lives movement still in full swing, multiple police killings sweeping the nation, and allegations of police bias against black men, being a black police officer in the United States today presents its own share of unique struggles. According to two police officers who sat down with Press of Atlantic City, black police officers in black communities are seen as “sellouts” and traitors.
Danny Adcock is a police captain at the Pleasantville Police Department. At 51 years old, he and 18 other black cops make up nearly 40% of the 48-member police force in Pleasantville. While this is much higher than the national average, with only 12% of the nation’s police forces being black, it has not eased tensions between himself and his community while he does his duty.
According to Adcock, it is not just staying safe or finding a job that challenges black police officers; there is a lot of pressure from the community as well. In his chat, he stated that the black community expects him to look the other way when illegal activity takes place, simply because he is also a black man.
The struggles Adcock faces are not unique to him, either. His personal friend that carpooled with him to the police academy 25 years ago, Richard Hood, now retired from serving as an Atlantic City police officer, faced similar problems from the community.
Like Adcock, Hood faced similar accusations where the community accused him of being a snitch and sellout. Growing up in the same neighborhood where he later policed, Hood said that being a homegrown black cop in a black community was faced with the community expecting him to turn a blind eye if he saw any crimes being committed.
Hood recounted times when he had made arrests and the perpetrators would plead with him to remove the handcuffs simply because they were both black. When Hood made it clear that there are no free passes just because of skin color, he was deemed a traitor and sellout.
Sometimes things went beyond simply being called names. Hood also walked out to his patrol car one morning to find it had been covered by garbage at the hands of someone in his community, right outside of his apartment.
Despite being black men and being born and raised in the same neighborhood, both Hood and Adcock were considered outcasts, simply for being police officers.