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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!