The Black and the Blue (Hardcover)

A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America's Law Enforcement

By Matthew Horace, Ron Harris

Hachette Books, 9780316440080, 256pp.

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

List Price: 27.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


CNN contributor offers a searing indictment of America's law enforcement.

"This is a must-read.... Telling this story demonstrates nothing but raw courage for a black police officer who wants the truth to prevail." --John Lewis

"[T]his [is a] hard-hitting, convincing indictment of the biases in today's law enforcement.... A must-read for anyone interested in understanding and solving these problems." --Booklist (starred review)

Matthew Horace was an officer at the federal, state, and local level for 28 years working in every state in the country. Yet it was after seven years of service when Horace found himself face-down on the ground with a gun pointed at his head by a white fellow officer, that he fully understood the racism seething within America's police departments.

Using gut-wrenching reportage, on-the-ground research, and personal accounts garnered by interviews with police and government officials around the country, Horace presents an insider's examination of police tactics, which he concludes is an "archaic system" built on "toxic brotherhood." Horace dissects some of the nation's most highly publicized police shootings and communities highlighted in the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond to explain how these systems and tactics have had detrimental outcomes to the people they serve. Horace provides fresh analysis on communities experiencing the high killing and imprisonment rates due to racist policing such as Ferguson, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Chicago from a law enforcement point of view and uncovers what has sown the seeds of violence.

Timely and provocative, The Black and The Blue sheds light on what truly goes on behind the blue line.

About the Author

Matthew Horace is a law enforcement and security contributor to CNN and The Wall Street Journal, and an internationally-recognized leadership expert in the field.

Ron Harris is a former reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Currently, he is a professor at Howard University.

Praise For The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America's Law Enforcement

"The heated debates surrounding the relationship between police and African Americans have tended to overlook one crucial part of the story: people who belong to both communities. Matthew Horace is a keen observer of the racial dynamics of policing, the often shameful history that contextualizes it and the implications for our current circumstances. A great deal has been said on this subject but very little of it [is as] perceptive and profound as The Black and the Blue."

Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker

"Insightful, honest, and probing, The Black and the Blue is as thoughtful a book as has been published on American policing in recent years. Drawing on years of experience as an officer-and even more years of experience as a black man-Matthew Horace has written a book that everyone should read."
Wesley Lowery, author of the New York Times bestseller They Can't Kill Us All

"Matt has compiled real life, inherent issues that we face as African American law enforcement professionals. I applaud his vision and for bringing into focus the discussion that somehow we were removed from the fabric of the black communities just because we took an oath, pinned on a badge and were issued a gun."—Clarence E. Cox III, President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives

"Raw and riveting!... With an insider's perspective, Horace brings nuance and complexity to the policing issues on the front lines of U.S. racial tensions."
Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

"Compelling. A critical look into law enforcement and the plethora of problems that exist within America's criminal justice system. The Black and Blue is full of hard truths-- truths that every American needs to hear, if we ever really want to consider reform. Horace is an informed, intelligent and extremely measured journalist. The Black and Blue is both well written and researched, I highly recommend."—D. Watkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Beast Side and The Cook Up

"I have called on Matthew Horace as an expert so many times I can't count them. He offers insight like no other. This book is a must read!"—Nancy Grace

"The Black and the Blue is a necessary testimony from behind the blue wall of secrecy and silence that affirms the racist underpinnings and often deadly consequences of African American contact with law enforcement. This is an urgent conversation needed at every level in the criminal justice system."
Liza Jessie Peterson, author of All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island

"The Black and the Blue is a powerful and courageous truth telling, and a must read for all of us who want criminal justice change-and not reform. The Black and the Blue is a clear statement of how white supremacy controls what is believed to be justice in America."—Flores A. Forbes, American Book Award-winning author of Invisible Men and Will You Die With Me?

"Matthew Horace provides a no-holds-barred, insider's account of the conscious, unconscious, and institutional racism that continues to be a cancer in many police departments, resulting in explosive incidents [and] the deaths of both innocent citizens and law enforcement officers alike. [Horace] offers our police officers a better and smarter way to protect and serve all of our citizens, regardless of race, creed, or color."
Jeffrey Gardere, Ph.D., best known as “America’s Psychologist” on Good Morning America and The Real Housewives of Atlanta

"Horace has done an excellent job of weaving together his personal experiences as a law enforcement officer [and] the experiences of African Americans with the police."
Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D., Director of the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center, Howard University

"We love [Matt Horace] because he always brings a strong point of view."—Chris Cuomo

"Every police officer, attorney, and civilian in American should read The Black and the Blue. There are lessons for us all... knowledgeable, passionate, instructive, and necessary."
Joey Jackson, CNN Legal Analyst

"Former police officer and law enforcement expert Matthew Horace is shedding light on racial stereotypes and how they play out in police departments across America."—

"A black cop's frank look at tensions between police, communities of color.... The Black and the Blue is an affirmation of the critical need for criminal justice reform, all the more urgent because it comes from an insider who respects his profession yet is willing to reveal its flaws."
USA Today

"An impassioned memoir... Horace vividly depicts the surreal challenges faced by African Americans in law enforcement.... Writing with deep knowledge and concern, the author argues that unequal policing based on ingrained racial bias and the drug war is even more pervasive than the attention paid to the Black Lives Matter movement... An astute, unvarnished account that should stand out from the crowd of pro- and anti-law enforcement books."—Kirkus Reviews

"The hidden dysfunctions in American policing are laid bare in this searching exposé.... Horace and coauthor Harris write sympathetically of the dilemmas of policing, but are uncompromising in their indictment of abuses. Horace's street cred and hard-won insights make this one of the best treatments yet of police misconduct."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Who polices the police? Matthew Horace asks this in The Black and the Blue....Yet while plenty of [stories] are about times when black lives didn't seem to matter, others are about blue lives, too, as police officers - white and black, men and women, good and bad - talk honestly about life on the street... Horace knows that most cops are good people, doing the best they can in an impossible job. But he also knows that it's a system riddled with biases, in desperate need of reform. And that until some major changes come, our system of flaws and disorder will continue - with blue against black, and injustice for all."—New York Daily News

"Cultural change requires recognizing the existence of a problem... If anger and sorrow haven't flooded to the surface when the last page is turned, go back and start again."—Shelf Awareness starred review

"The Black and the Blue is an important contribution to a growing body of work about minority police officers. Horace's authority as an experienced officer, as well as his obvious integrity and courage, provides the book with a gravitas that might convince some readers apt to turn a blind eye to the activists and scholars who are the primary critics of racialized policing."

The Washington Post