This is the odyssey of a man that encompasses two centuries: the past one and the current Millennium…

This is, in fact, the story about the life and the job of an American black cop in the age of law enforcement, namely a military public system that should punish criminals and protect law abiding people, as politicians, deputies and officers always claimed. In the United States and everywhere.

Yes, each of them always aimed for a rightful world in which evil and good are clearly discernible, and human beings are equally respected in front of human and divine justice.

It has been this belief that pushed the author to become a cop and write a poignant memoir about an enemy that still intoxicates the highly respected American society: racism. All over. In every field and industry. Racism that gradually poisons your life and your job.

The main protagonist of the book is just the author: an awesome man born in the USA (like the namesake song by Bruce Springsteen), and who spent his childhood in the legendary (for us Europeans) city of Detroit.

But life has never been a song for Frederick, not only for the color of his skin, but, rather, for the troubles of his origin family: the father is alcohol addicted and the mother always beats Frederick; called Fred, in the book, because, according to her, the boy will surely become like his father: a drunkard!

The fate of Fred seems, thus, already sealed, with friends belonging to the local gangs which, by contrast, lead Fred to meet local cops on the line of their duty.

Fred admires policemen and decides for a turn which changes his life forever: enrolling himself in the local police department in Compton, a city of California, in the county of Los Angeles.

And it is in this stage of Fred’s life that the myth of a great America (also claimed by former Us President Donald Trump) gets definitively debunked.

The district of Compton, brilliantly described by the author in detail, appears to be worse than the ancient wild West, where the daily bread of cops are shootings, women raped and kids killed.

What happens in the heart of a cop or any person, if you may be shot at your home by a stray bullet while you are watching the TV?

What, if your girl may be raped while she is taking the school bus?

What, if your old mother gets, mistakenly, killed by a bullet that a scoundrel shot through the window of the rest house?

The bloody facts described by the author are much more than these and reported in several chapters of the book. They have been written to show the incredible depravity that has been spoiling modern America for years.

These descriptions reflect a very high level of uncontrolled violence, which, in turn, is spoiled with subtle nuances of racism in the same police departments. It is not by chance if investigations and crime charges are more often against black people, even though the arrested person is, in reality, innocent.

Data and murders are detailly accounted by the author, but the story goes beyond that: there are emotions, feelings, there is the personal journey of Fred toward a path of ethical and inner development, which makes him stronger and more aware about this life, where, as the same author writes: evil is always evil, it is not a matter of skin color.

In this framework, memoirs like the book by Frederick Reynolds are made to be read and loved: because they inform, educate and teach us that the true humanity is not in prejudices, and not even in violence, but in the capacity of respecting others like ourselves.

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