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Podcast: A Black police officer opens up

A man in a split-neck shirt
LAPD Officer Michael Silva, pictured at home, says being a Black cop has been tough over the last year, but he’s still optimistic about the profession.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Black police officers are facing new challenges in the current atmosphere around policing, especially in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the many demonstrations against police brutality that have taken place over the last 18 months.

In addition to heckling from activists on the streets, some of whom call them traitors, Black officers experience internal racism within the police department — which has always existed but has surfaced in new ways since last year’s protests began.

Today, Officer Michael Silva talks to L.A. Times reporter Kevin Rector about why he joined the Los Angeles Police Department, what he’s experienced and where he thinks we can go from here.

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Host: L.A. Times reporter Kevin Rector

Guests: Los Angeles Police Officer Michael Silva

More reading:

For a Black LAPD officer, police reckoning brings pressure from protesters and fellow cops

In court, BLM says LAPD ‘failed completely’ to punish officers in protest abuses

Police Commission reinstates one of LAPD’s first Black officers, undoing 120-year-old injustice

2019 analysis: LAPD searches Blacks and Latinos more. But they’re less likely to have contraband than whites

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Marina Peña and Melissa Kaplan. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.

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