Law: The New Black Police Chiefs

Updating a long tradition of ethnic groups rising to the top

In 1960, Clarence Dickson, the first black to graduate from the Miami police academy, proudly stood for a picture of the class in which he ranked third out of 16. A few days later, while Dickson was out on patrol, the class reassembled and a new, all-white "official" picture was taken without him. Last month the Miami police department held another solemn ceremony from which Dickson, 50, could not be excluded. For he was being installed as Miami's chief of police, the first black to hold that job in the racially troubled city.

In 1964 in New Orleans, Warren Woodfork was...

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