Black Outlined Blue is about dual identity, trust, service, prejudice and balance. It seeks to highlight the lives of black police officers. How does their perspective of life as a black citizen in America coexist with their service duties? The incidents of civilian encounters with police ending with violence is becoming more publicly available.  Because of this, additional layers of scrutiny are imposed on everyone in uniform. How does a black officer balance connection to community with the integrity of the badge and the—sometimes questionable—integrity of the officers around them? Taken in black & white with a 4”x 5” large-format camera, the images are of officers in their uniform and in civilian clothes. In addition to the images are hand-written statements from each officer.

Order of Appearance:

 

Badge #6700 (Griffin)

Badge #6499 (Kindred)

Badge #6675 (Hannah)

Badge #6533 (White)

Badge #6790 (Gibson)

Badge #6503 (Murphy)

Badge #6488 (Daugherty)

Badge #7041 (Sauls)

Badge #6781 (Collins)

Badge #6369 (King)

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Artist Statement

I believed I could have a "Fuck the Police" mentality without putting my two law-enforcing parents into that category.  I rationalized that belief because my parents are good people, making them good cops.  However, that was not a conclusion I could come to for every cop.  When the deaths of unarmed black civilians became more public, I started to question how any black person could put on a uniform that started to represent danger for anyone with their skin tone.  How does one deal with the duality of the two identities?  What perspective does a black police officer have when it comes to their duty, their black life and the lives around them?

 

My parents became cops to help people--to help people is their calling.  Being a police officer was their job.  Stepping into and out of that role was critical to making sure they came home every night, and that they came home as people first.  It's the same for the officers featured in this work.  Before, during and at the end of watch their black lives matter even when they are outlined in blue.

 
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