‘Black In Blue’: African-American Cops Face Their Own Discrimination Issues


Vanessa Westley, a 25-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, is a single, black mother with an 18-year-old son. With the police shootings of young, black men like Laquan McDonald in Chicago and elsewhere, she worries about her son's day-to-day activities. “Do I have to walk the same course as any other mother who has a black son? Yes, I do,” Westley tells the Christian Science Monitor. “And it's a little harder for me because I go to work in the same system that we're concerned about.” African Americans make up a quarter of the police force in Chicago. Many officers like Westley say that the badge does not make them immune to the type of incidents that have made headlines in recent months, most notably the fatal shooting of McDonald. They recall being pulled over without reason by white cops when they're off-duty and talk about walking the “different lanes” of black and blue.

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