I had a supervisor tell me once that the LAPD is a machine- it will chew you up and spit you out. As an officer on the Los Angeles Police Department, one needs to recognize very early on, that you are nothing more than a cog in their wheel. On August 25, 1980, I became serial number 22607. Failure to wrap your head around this concept can cause sleepless nights, alcoholism, thoughts of suicide, diarrhea, loss of appetite and in some cases death; by your own hands.
Anyone who tries to describe the allegations of racism, unfair disciplinary practices and discrimination made by fired LAPD officer- turned murderer, Christopher Dorner in February 2013, as “old news” is being intellectually dishonest. I am a first-hand witness and subsequent recipient of the backlash that awaits any officer who dares to take on the LAPD.
The Los Angeles Police Department will manufacture charges of police misconduct, force you to appear before a capricious administrative Board of Rights (BOR) and then terminate you at will. Then, when that officer complains publicly, the department creates an image of that officer in such a way that makes that officer appear distasteful and therefore anything that they say or do is rejected.
The department uses the press to create an image that the department can now justify. The press unwittingly becomes an accessory, after the fact; by repeating what the LAPD purports to be factual.
The department, by its mere existence, is designed to tear an officer down in the police academy and then re-create that officer in an image the department likes. A subtle form of brainwashing occurs for some.
I resisted that treatment. I was my own woman. I needed a job true enough and I was damn good at what I did. I remained professional, courteous and compassionate when dealing with the citizens of Los Angeles. But, I never bled blue. I stayed the course. I fought the good fight. And as a result, after twenty years, I earned my service pension. Although I was beaten down and betrayed by the LAPD in the process, I managed to get out “alive”. I didn’t go on a murderous rampage when the department came after me in the twilight of my career. I understood that I was still in control. I just needed to hold on.
I was raised by a strong and independent mother who taught me, all of my life, to stand my ground. My father was a proud man from the south who didn’t scratch if he didn’t itch. I listened and held on to those life lessons taught to me by my working class parents. I grew up middle-class and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. My father was a metal-fitter at McDonald Douglas Aircraft in Torrance, California where he worked the swing shift until he retired in the late 70s. My mother worked as an accountant and was the only black employee in all-white McKesson-Robbins, a pharmaceutical company, in Anaheim, California during the 60s, 70s before she retired in the 80s. She managed to thrive and prosper in that environment. Zango and Frankye Mae taught me well. It was my upbringing that provided the foundation I needed to overcome obstacles and pursue my goals with passion and determination. This drive and can do-will do mind set would, later in my life, enable me to stay the LAPD course, retire and walk away with my sanity and most importantly, my dignity.
It is my hope that the reader understands, when faced with adversity and the unrelenting gnashing by a super-employer, that 1) you don’t have to buy into their system, 2) don’t be taken by surprise when their system betrays you and 3) recognize that there is life after that super power. Believe that this too shall pass and resist those feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Excerpted from "Black & Blue (The Creation of a Manifesto): The True Story of an African-American Woman on the LAPD and the Powerful Secrets She Uncovered (Volume 1)" by Cheryl Dorsey. Copyright © 0 by Cheryl Dorsey. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.