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My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Publisher - MindStir Media
Genre - Memoir
Publishing year - 2021
Language - English
ISBN - 978-1-63848-521-6
Pages - 396

Black, White, and Gray All Over

Book Review - 

Black, White, and Gray All Over is a memoir of a black American cop, Frederick Douglass Reynolds, born in Detroit. He had a troubled childhood, an estranged relationship with his parents, and was a school dropout. 

The way things were going, there was no chance that his future would be bright, but a few people allowed him to make things right, and he took those opportunities. He became a Compton cop and served for thirty-two years. This is the journey of a man who beats all the odds, works hard, and achieves his American dream. But it was not a piece of cake; it was full of struggles and violence. 

Frederick Reynolds articulately talked about the corrupted police officers and politicians he familiarized with during his service. He spoke about gangs, their wars, innocent people and officers who died because of them, and the political agendas that lead to more deaths. He faced racism in the department and worked on some heart-wrenching cases. 

One time he was assigned to find missing drugs from the narcotics department. That whole case made him realize that the situation required additional assistance and the problem was rooted deep, but workplace politics was strong, and that entire case made him paranoid. There were many cases, and reading them will make you realize how hard it is to be an honest cop, no matter the era.

In 2000, Compton PD was disbanded because they had not been able to control the crimes and violence. As a result, it was taken over by the LA County Sheriff's department. However, Compton PD officers were not respected by Sherriff's department officials because of their fouled reputation, and the author talked about his experience working with them briefly. 

While struggling at work, his personal life was also a mess. Nevertheless, he married twice and has many kids and grandkids. Without giving you any spoilers, I wanted to say that I'm happy with how things turned out for him. No one can have everything, but all that you have is priceless. 

His journey from a frightened kid to a courageous cop inspired me. But it's not all that; him writing this book is surreal; the author made amends, re-connect with his children, exposed corrupt people, and tried to honor the officers the way they deserved. Pick this book now if you're a non-fiction fan and looking for a first-hand account of racism and cops' work lives in America. I highly recommend it.

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