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When I was a little kid I wanted to be a detective like my dad. I thought it was the coolest job ever. I wanted the gold detective badge with spikes sticking out, the New York State insignia, with the bald eagle majestically perched on a shield. You get to fight crime, find the bad guy, save the day. “My little troopers,” my Grandpa called his grandchildren, his voice lilting in a Trinidadian accent. As a first generation immigrant, my Dad took pride in that he was able to be part of what he saw as an elite order within American society.

Many of us children of law enforcement officers saw our parents as our heroes. We were wrong.

It is time for people of color with police family members, Black people especially, to reconcile with the fact that just because we love our family member doesn’t mean we have to agree with or support the police. In fact, it means that we probably should be fighting alongside the thousands of people across the globe against police brutality, against systemic racism in our justice system and to defund the police.

In order to do so, those of us with family or personal ties to police of color have to recognize these five things about the police: