James Wormley Jones

The First Black FBI Agent The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency with a history full of firsts, one of the most noteworthy being the appointment of the first Black federal agent, James Wormley Jones. Image Source James Wormley “Jack” Jones began his law enforcement career with the Washington (DC) Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). …

James Wormley Jones Read More »

Michael Cox

From a Case of Mistaken Identity Rises a Ruthless Chief In January 1995, Michael Cox was an up-and-coming Boston Police officer in the anti-gang violence unit. One night, while on-duty as a plain-clothes officer in pursuit of murder suspect Robert “Smut” Brown, he was mistaken for a gang member by a group of his colleagues …

Michael Cox Read More »

Jacob Chestnut

A Hero at the Capitol We saw the valiancy of the U.S. Capitol Police firsthand on January 6, 2021, when officers like Eugene Goodman acted courageously during the insurrection at the Capitol. But that was not the first instance where Capitol Police officers have gone above and beyond to protect one of the most sacred …

Jacob Chestnut Read More »

Walter A. Gordon

Berkeley’s First Black Juris Doctor From the grandson of slaves to the first African American to receive a JD (Juris Doctor) degree from UC Berkeley’s School of Law, Walter A. Gordon is an exceptional figure in Black law enforcement history. Image Source Gordon was born in Atlanta, GA, in 1894 and at the age of …

Walter A. Gordon Read More »

William West

The Only Officer to Arrest a Sitting President In all of American history, only one president has ever been arrested while in office. The year was 1872 and President Ulysses S. Grant found himself caught on the wrong side of the law by William H. West—a young former slave and Civil War veteran who joined …

William West Read More »

Charles Ramsey

DC Metro’s First Black Chief of Police Washington, D.C., is home to over two dozen federal and local law enforcement agencies that have encountered many historic firsts and influential figures. One of these history-makers is the first Black chief of DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, Charles H. Ramsey. Image source Chief Charles Ramsey started his career …

Charles Ramsey Read More »

Willie L. Williams

LAPD’s First Black Chief The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)  is one of the most famous and largest police departments in the United States. The department has investigated some of the most unspeakable and historic crimes in the country, including the gruesome Tate murders committed by the Manson Family, the case of Efren Saldivar, a …

Willie L. Williams Read More »

The Founding Officers of NOBLE

How a Three-Day Symposium Became a Leading Organization for African Americans in Law Enforcement In September 1976, a symposium was called by the Police Foundation and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), with the Joint Center for Political Studies (JCPS), to address the issue of crime in low-income urban areas of the United States. What …

The Founding Officers of NOBLE Read More »

Violet Hill Whyte

Baltimore’s “Lady Law” It is unique for a city’s first Black officer to be a woman—but that’s precisely what happened in Baltimore, Maryland, early in the 20th century. Image Source In December 1937, Violet Hill Whyte was the first Black officer to be appointed to the Baltimore Police Department. She served with the department for …

Violet Hill Whyte Read More »

Lucius Amerson

The First Black Sheriff since Reconstruction Macon County, Alabama, has been a place of progress for African Americans since 1881 when Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee University, initially known as the Tuskegee Normal School. African American leaders from all fields have made their mark on Macon County’s history, including law enforcement, when, in 1967, …

Lucius Amerson Read More »