1: Michael Winn is a playwright and community
engagement manager of the Alliance Theater. "I try not to
look like I should be arrested, down to the kind of car I
drive," Winn says.
2: Ralph Simpson, regional superintendent
in DeKalb County Schools, recalls asking his son and
godson after a traffic stop: "Why do you think that
officer didn't give me a ticket?"
3: Chuck Meadows, head of the Beltline
Partnership (and former vice president of the Metro
Atlanta Chamber): "It felt bad at the time, it still
feels bad when I remember it now."
4: He has been making traffic stops on metro
Atlanta roads for years, and not all of them go well. He
recounts one episode that left him furious.
5: Michael Leo Owens, a political science
professor at Emory: "No, you can't come into my house,"
he told the officer.
Leo Owens' story
axiomatic among African-Americans: "everybody
has a story" about harassment by the police. The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution set out to test
that idea. We interviewed dozens of people.
There's nothing scientific about the selection,
but there is something compelling about the
Turns out that everybody does have a story,
but they're not all the same, and they're not
entirely negative. Our series "Black and Blue:
personal stories from the intersection of
police and public," has gathered more than a
dozen stories. If you'd like to comment on the
Often we're asking people to recall an event
of which there is no record. We are checking
the background of the subject and, where
possible, using records to determine whether
he was in the locale in which the incident
took place. When a police department is
identified, we call that agency for comment.
And we also ask each subject whether someone
was present who could corroborate his story.
Those measures admittedly are not
foolproof, but there is no central repository
for this kind of information. There is simply
a very deep well of experience.
I was mistaken for a valet.
you're not biased? Take the test and see.
10: Joseph Dorsey Sr. is deputy chief of the
MARTA police: "I said, 'Sir, how can I help you? What
did I do?'"
11: Todd Duncan is an editor at the AJC and a
one-time police reporter who has a complicated
relationship with cops.
12: Atlanta attorney Theida Salazar talks
about the time an officer handcuffed him to his steering
13: The artist recalls an incident in his
hometown: "He is walking toward us and he grabs his
14: The longtime civil rights activist's best
advice: "Never argue. Stay calm. Stay cool. Don't lose