When I decided to write this series, I had to think back to all of the cases that have occurred in America in the past 30 years. I couldn’t just think of the recent cases within the past 5 years, that wouldn’t justify this series in a nutshell. Remember I was a young kid when Amadou Diallo was killed before his wedding by police officers. Back then, I didn’t fully understand the story until I got older and understood the racial tension that fills our society in America.
I can sit here and run through every major case but that would do no justice for this blog. You’re reading this trying to understand how I wrote this series so I get it. Once again, I had to be different with writing a book, let alone a series. It wasn’t going to be what you normally read and what you normally see on television.
When I decided to write about Gary, I knew I had to take race out of the picture when it came to him and who he was. In my mind, I had to say, let’s focus on the racism in America between police officers and black and latino men. What is not discussed is how there are black and latino police officers who are racist against their own too. It’s not just white cops versus black and latino men.
There was a need to address that early on but in the midst of it, you’re trying to figure out what race Gary is. The reality is no matter what race Gary is or you choose to make him, any police officer who commits the wrongs that I write about in my books, there’s a lack of upholding the oath they took to protect and serve the community or are they serving someone else? It becomes following agendas and doing what you’re told regarding black and latino men.
We lose a sense of the things that are constantly going on because it doesn’t happen to us. It’s a mentality of, “if it doesn’t happen to me, I’m good.” Well...until it does and by that point it’s too late in addressing the constant issues that are going on in our communities daily. Gary is the good cop who’s caught in a lot of things he never thought he would be.
The start of this series took a lot to write because I wanted to make sure I’m addressing the corruption while keeping Gary’s thoughts and feelings in it. It’s a hard battle and also writing it to where it’s believable, truthful and Gary is someone you can relate to. He’s a combination of a protagonist and antagonist and it’s something that isn’t done often in stories. This is to make you think about how many good cops who want to do the right thing, it's a job that you want to do but you are forced into this brotherhood of keeping the lies, secrets and corruption among themselves.
In regards to the way I wrote it, utilizing the police chief in this was to say, the orders of what’s done in the streets comes from somewhere and I made it him. He answers to someone himself and it’s all about the totem pole of power and authority. In hindsight, bulletins like that aren’t a reality in police departments but I had to shape it in a way where you understand that a lot of police officers aren’t vigilantes with guns, batons, mace and tasers, they may be pushed into positions beyond their control to maintain their health benefits, paycheck and pension (something I address early on in Part 1).
That’s the start to this series, stay tuned for more insight next week!
Be good everyone and go accomplish your goals!