A WASHINGTON POST BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF 2023 A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST BOOK OF 2023
“With illuminating, vivid, and meticulous prose, Edwin Raymond delivers an extraordinary exposé on policing in America . . . An essential, exceptional work.” —Toluse Olorunnipa, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of His Name Is George Floyd
From the highest-ranking whistleblower in NYPD history, a gripping insider look at the complexities of modern policing and the urgent need for reform
Over his decade and a half with the New York Police Department, Edwin Raymond consistently exposed the dark underbelly of modern policing, becoming the highest-ranking whistleblower in the history of the force and one of the country’s leading voices against police injustice. Offering a rare, often shocking view of American policing, An Inconvenient Cop pulls back the curtain on the many flaws woven into the NYPD’s training, data, and practices, which have since been repackaged and repurposed by police departments across the country.
Gravitating toward law enforcement in the hope of being a positive influence in his community, Raymond quickly learned that the problem with policing is a lot deeper than merely “a few bad apples”—the entire mechanism is set up to ensure that racial profiling is rewarded, and there are weighty consequences for cops who don’t play along. Struggling with the moral dilemma of policing impartially while witnessing his fellow officers go with the flow, Raymond’s journey takes him to the precipice of personal and professional ruin. Yet, through it all, he remains steadfast in his commitment to justice and his belief in the potential for change.
At once revelatory and galvanizing, An Inconvenient Cop courageously bears witness to and exposes institutional violence. It presents a vision of radical hope and makes the case for a world in which the police’s responsibility is not to arrest numbers but to the people.
About the Author
Edwin Raymond, a fifteen-year veteran of the New York Police Department, is one of the nation’s leading voices on criminal justice reform. He has received numerous accolades, including a Commanding Officer’s Award for exceptional duty, an NAACP Courage and Leadership Award, and an International Documentary Association’s Courage Under Fire Award and a Doc Star of the Month Award.
Jon Sternfeld is an author whose work includes the New York Times bestselling Scenes from My Life with Michael K. Williams, A Stone of Hope with Jim St. Germain, Marked for Life with Isaac Wright Jr., and Unprepared: America in the Time of Coronavirus.
“I am thinking about quitting my job as a local cop. I don’t know the when but I do know the why. Many of the reasons can be found in the pages of Edwin Raymond’s An Inconvenient Cop: My Fight to Change Policing in America. . . . Raymond’s book, based on what he did and didn’t do as he rose through the ranks of the New York City Police Department, explains better than most how one cop can’t change the system — but how change can’t happen without that one cop trying.” —The Washington Post
“In this searing memoir, 14-year NYPD veteran Raymond argues that New York City is ‘the red-hot center of the problem’ of racially motivated police brutality . . . Combining personal anecdotes and painstaking research, Raymond passionately advocates for wholesale police reform, arguing with convincing clarity that ‘when you toss out bad apples, you’re not changing a damn thing.’ This is a gutting and essential take on a hot-button issue.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Vital, timely . . . Readers will be impressed by Raymond’s courage and integrity, and he presents an inspiring story, captivatingly written and exciting to read. An urgent exposé, essential to understanding the fractured state of policing in America.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“An uplifting story of perseverance and a hard, eye-opening look at policing and what it takes to make a department live up to its best potential.” —Booklist
"Edwin Raymond is my hero. In his brilliant memoir, An Inconvenient Cop, we have the single most important book ever written on policing from inside the profession itself. It should be read and studied by students, scholars, and anyone interested in the future of America." —Shaun King, author of Make Change: How to Fight Injustice, Dismantle Systemic Oppression, and Own Our Future
“With illuminating, vivid, and meticulous prose, Edwin Raymond delivers an extraordinary exposé on policing in America. By taking readers behind the often-impenetrable blue wall of silence, An Inconvenient Cop highlights the damage wrought by broken-windows policing and reveals with sobering clarity how racism corrupts our criminal justice system. This rare glimpse into the realities of systemic bias in policing is an essential, exceptional work of social justice.” —Toluse Olorunnipa, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice
“Enlightening and infuriating, An Inconvenient Cop is an indictment of broken-windows policing and a compelling account of an officer who challenged the NYPD's racism and quota system from the inside. It is essential for anyone who thinks diversifying police forces and platitudes about reform will influence the deepest structural failures that are embedded not just in police departments' rotten apples but in the very soil. Brave, powerful, and beautifully told.” —Joanna Schwartz, author of Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable
"A courageous and unyielding exploration of systemic flaws within the NYPD, An Inconvenient Cop is a testament to Edwin Raymond's unwavering commitment to truth and justice. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the realities of American policing." —Light Watkins, author of Knowing Where to Look: 108 Daily Doses of Inspiration