Thursday, September 2, 2021

"The Long Blue Walk" Author Norman A. Carter Jr. Describes Lessons He Learned Fighting Against Corruption as a Philadelphia Police Officer

By: Rich Bergeron

     I am not the only one concerned about how corruption can negatively impact even the smallest local police force or town government or prosecutor's office. Corruption is everywhere, and going through traditional channels to expose it often leads to dead ends and no changes in the status quo. More often than not, the whistleblowers face retaliation and backlash for simply wanting the rules to be enforced. 

     Norman A. Carter Jr. was a Philadelphia Police Officer for over 25 years. He was a decent, honest man who wanted to do the job to improve the community. Other officers who accepted bribes, took taxpayer money to invent fake crimes to pin on random citizens, and simply avoided real police work would often bump heads with Officer Carter. As a result, he ended up getting the worst assignments and making the most of them no matter how difficult of a circumstance his superiors tried to put him in. 

     Carter's book "The Long Blue Walk" is an inside look at a growing problem in this country. Police Misconduct plagues every state in this country, and some jurisdictions have gone to the extreme of "defunding the police." This is the perverse result of a citizenry who sees a handful of bad actors cast a bad light on entire departments and all the police personnel in an entire city, even those who have received commendations for excellent police work. Rather than deal with the few bad apples, some municipalities are voting to throw out the whole barrel. 

      Carter and I cover a lot of ground in this hour, but the greatest commonality between us is we both put our issues on the map with letters to the editor of our local newspapers. We have a great back and forth about the benefit of publicizing your struggles in fighting corruption and exposing bad behavior on a wider scale. It is the principle of sunlight being the best disinfectant. Listen for yourself right here: