Black History and Law Enforcement (2)

Rico Lewis

Bass Reeves-
Reeves was the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River, in 1875 he was commissioned to be a deputy U.S. marshal by Federal Judge Isaac Parker of the Western District of Arkansas. He was efficient and impressive in his craft as he was responsible for apprehending 3,000 criminals, that number spread like wildfire and his name was noted as a hardworking African American marshal during the 1800’s. Reeves eventually retired in 1907, yet he became a city police officer in Muskogee, Oklahoma upon the retirement. He was one of the path makers for cowboy inspired officers during the 1800’s, he is inspiration for fictional characters like the “Lone Ranger”.

Lucius Amerson-
Amerson was the first black sheriff in the South since Reconstruction, he started this role in January 1967, he was honored to take this role as he knew he was expanding black history. Amerson is one pioneering figure for law enforcement and civil rights for Black Americans. His job was not a breeze as he did face inequality and prejudice while serving his community, there were many reports made against him to harm his reputation. Yet, he was proven to just be doing his job in the fairest way as possible. He retired in 1987 and remains as a figure of courage in the face of injustice and when odds are against Black Americans.

Dr. Louis Thompkins Wright-
Dr. Wright is mainly known for his medical achievements and aid of black communities, also serving as the first African American police surgeon with the New York Police Department in 1929. He was also a civil activist for equality during the times of segregation, to the medical field to law enforcement. He also aided during the first World War in the treatment for smallpox. Dr. Wright was laid to rest in 1952, but still is a figure for opposing of racial prejudice, discrimination, and injustice, for the sake of all Black Americans’ prosperity in all careers and walks of life.

Willie L. Williams-
Williams was the first African American Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department (1988–1992), and the first African American Chief of the LAPD (1992-1997). He was an ambitious African American figure to inspire more Black Americans to leave their imprints in law enforcement. After leading 2 police forces during turmoil due to aggressive and inappropriate practices against minority groups like Black Americans, he stopped serving and retired completely in 1997. His effort to decrease the aggressive practices of law enforcement encouraged more humane ways of handling minority groups, especially Black Americans.