A Darker Shade of Blue: A Police Officer’s Memoir

ECW. Mar. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781770416796. pap. $21.95. MEMOIR
Merith’s memoir about his 31 years with Ontario’s York Regional Police Service is a heartfelt story of perseverance in the face of institutional racism. He retired as superintendent of the force, a remarkable feat considering that he was rejected for his first police job by 13 departments over a span of six years. Born in England to Jamaican parents, he moved to Canada at age 10. He served in the military, then spent five years at a juvenile detention facility as a correctional officer. He asserts that nepotism and discrimination made the police force an insular institution. He also believes that “stop resisting” is at the core of failed police training. He recounts numerous examples of overtly racist situations. He also mentions the George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, and Ahmaud Arbery cases. He calls out former President Trump for showing that “the underpinnings of racism, bigotry, and discrimination were alive and well.”
VERDICT For police memoir fans and people who enjoy reading about triumph over adversity. This isn’t as blistering as Edwin Raymond and Jon Sternfeld’s An Inconvenient Cop, which was about the NYPD, but this is a worthwhile and insightful account from a retired police superintendent.
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