Interview with George Clements

You worked with some young Black officers who were also experiencing a lot of pressure, and a lot of hardship on the job. What was some of the things they shared with you, their concerns?


Well first of all, they knew that they were doomed to remain, ah, in a very low position in the police department because there were very, very few promotions that were ever given out to Blacks. And the few Blacks who did get the few that were out there were Blacks who were, ah, subservient, ah, Uncle Tom's. Those were the ones that, ah, that got to, to be maybe a sergeant, or, ah, and it was just a, a bad situation. If a Black policeman were to speak out on behalf of somebody who was being brutalized by the police, then he would be immediately suspended or fired. And, ah, there was just, ah, their ranks were demoralized. They just felt like they were no more than an occupation army in the, ah, middle of this city of Chicago.