An Inconvenient Cop: My Fight To Change Policing in America

Viking. Oct. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593653166. $29. MEMOIR
Retired NYPD lieutenant Raymond, with the help of Jon Sternfeld (Scenes from My Life with Michael K. Williams), relates his career-long fight for police reform. The book starts by exploring Raymond’s childhood as a son of a Haitian immigrant, his motivations for becoming a police officer, and the factors that impact him as a Black man. As he moves through the police academy and his assignment as a transit cop, he observes how the quota system shapes police work and incentivizes arrests rather than crime prevention. He argues that the NYPD’s practice of “broken windows” policing, which directs officers to concentrate their efforts on enforcing and preventing small crimes, promotes the quota system and contributes to systemic racism and negative effects on communities of color. Raymond tries to take on the system by setting an example of what policing could look like when it promotes crime prevention, but his efforts lead to retaliation by his superiors. He eventually decides to sue the City of New York. Raymond includes an appendix with recommendations for police reform.
VERDICT An absorbing and thought-provoking memoir that provides a clear and compelling argument for police reform.
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