The playwright

Day 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.

Michael Winn's story



The administrator

Day 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?"

Ralph Simpson's story



The executive

Day 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."

Chuck Meadows' story





The police officer

Day 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.

One cop's tale




The professor

Day 5: Michael Leo Owens, a political science professor at Emory: "No, you can't come into my house," he told the officer.

Michael Leo Owens' story



It's 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 stories.

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 series, email the AJC.

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.












The businessman

Day 6: Ray Mills, 29, called the police to report people in two cars shooting at each other. He didn't get the response he expected.

Ray Mills' story





The student (1)

Day 7: Jordan Johnson is a student at Clark Atlanta University: "They just looked at me real hard, like I was up to no good or something."

Jordan Johnson's story









The pastor

Day 8: Frank Brown is also a retired police chief: "Police administration is facing a lot of scrutiny and the truth is we are dropping the ball."

Frank Brown's story





The student (2)

Day 9: Jordan Gibson is a student at Clark Atlanta University: "I understand. I'm a young black man. I wear braids."

Jordan Gibson's story



Obama: I was mistaken for a valet.


Think you're not biased? Take the test and see.





The deputy chief

Day 10: Joseph Dorsey Sr. is deputy chief of the MARTA police: "I said, 'Sir, how can I help you? What did I do?'"

Joseph Dorsey's story





The journalist

Day 11: Todd Duncan is an editor at the AJC and a one-time police reporter who has a complicated relationship with cops.

Todd Duncan's story





The attorney

Day 12: Atlanta attorney Theida Salazar talks about the time an officer handcuffed him to his steering wheel.

Theida Salazar's story





The artist

Day 13: The artist recalls an incident in his hometown: "He is walking toward us and he grabs his gun."

Fabian Williams' story





The lawmaker

Day 14: The longtime civil rights activist's best advice: "Never argue. Stay calm. Stay cool. Don't lose your temper."

Tyrone Brooks' story