The Cheryl Dorsey Interview: The Creation of a Manifesto, Black and Blue
Earlier this year, ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner created a buzz throughout the nation with many of his actions well recorded and documented via media. One of the items mentioned was a manifesto detailing his history with injustices inside the department and the challenges he faced. It led to a number of ex-LAPD personnel voicing similar claims against the department in public. Cheryl Dorsey is a former sergeant who has now written a book entitled, “The Creation of a Manifesto, Black and Blue”. We invite you to read what she has to say in her own words.
Who is Cheryl Dorsey? Please tell us your background.
Cheryl Dorsey was raised in South Central Los Angeles. After attending Catholic school at an early age, she embarked on a career in law enforcement, beginning with the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Investigations, and Narcotic Enforcement, shortly after graduating high school.
She later joined the LAPD in 1980, a time when the department was under a consent decree to hire more women and minorities. Cheryl spent twenty years on the LAPD working patrol, narcotics, and vice assignments for all four bureaus of operation: South, Central, West, and Valley. She is most proud of having spent her entire twenty years working assignments in field operations; which included patrol, traffic, vice and the infamous gang unit known as the Community Resources against Street Hoodlums, or CRASH.
During her tenure, Sergeant Dorsey received numerous commendations and accolades from her command staff and the public she served. Cheryl enjoys spending time with her four sons, being a grandmother, and living life like she means it!
How long have you been writing?
I am a first time author. I have often thought of telling my story; however, I never before thought there would be a real interest; after-all, it’s just me. This is part one of a series of books that I intend to write that chronicle my life before and after the Los Angeles Police Department.
What inspired you to write The Creation of a Manifesto, Black and Blue?
The Creation of a Manifesto, Black and Blue is the title of my autobiography. I felt compelled to write about my journey on the heels of the senseless murders committed by fired LAPD police officer Christopher Dorner in February 2013 in southern California. I listened intently to the media and the LAPD (Department) portray this young man as “crazy”, not suited for police work and a liar. I knew first hand that the things alleged by Dorner in his Manifesto as the reasons which caused him to do the unthinkable were in fact true. Every allegation made by Dorner against the Department had a very similar tone to my own experiences; however fifteen years earlier. I knew during the hunt for Dorner that he would be killed; as did he. I knew that the story would end there. I felt compelled to set the record straight.
During my time as a police officer on the LAPD, I knew that my experiences were not unique; however, my position was. I am an honorably retired veteran sergeant. I am not angry with the Department, I am not disgruntled and I am not crazy. I was, however, I victim of a two tiered system of discipline within the LAPD, a victim of repeated and unrelenting harassing; racial and sexual. I am in a very special place because I can truthfully and without restraint speak first hand in a way that has never been done by ANYONE on the LAPD and possibly nationwide on a police department about what REALLY goes on behind the scene. I have pulled the covers off the LAPD and exposed the Department and the Command Staff that run that agency for exactly what and who they are. I have no fear of retaliation, loss of income or the inability to promote within that orginzation because I am RETIRED. For those who joined the LAPD after I was hired – many are still on the Department and can’t speak and those that left for a myriad of reasons; termination or forced resignation, I am their voice. My experiences, on the LAPD, as a little 110lb, 5’9 African-American girl from South Central Los Angeles between 1980 and 2000 are very unique. There is no one more qualified or credible to speak on the policies and practices of the Los Angeles Police Department than I am; having spent my entire twenty year career working patrol related assignments. I know exactly how the street cop thinks and why. I wanted to educate people who may have an interest in law enforcement as a career choice as well as enlighten anyone who feels helpless and hopeless in their employment situation; after having taken on a super power. I understand intimately what is like to be just one person going against an entity with deep financial pockets and resources. I have experienced injustice, mal-treatment and corruption at the hands of the LAPD muck like Christopher Dorner. I did not create a manifesto – I chose a different path.
What inspired you to write and publish this book ?
I was so outraged by the way the LAPD’s Police Chief handled the post-Dorner murders and the Chief’s attempt to portray the LAPD as some sort of Utopia free from racial animus by its’ officers that I sat down at my laptop computer and began to tell my story. I finished writing eight days later. I was possessed. I was obsessed with getting the truth out to the masses. I initially thought of self-publishing and contacted CreateSpace through Amazon. I nearly completed the editing and cover design process when I was approached by an indie-publisher who heard me speak at a meeting for journalists and expressed an interest in publishing my book. Being a first time author I welcomed the help and insight; as my publisher is also an award winning author. The process became very seamless.
What’s your favorite part?
My favorite part of my book is the chapter that introduces the world to LAPD Sergeant Fred Nichols. The chapter is titled, “You killed my brother.” For obvious reasons, I will not tell you the whole story of Sgt. Nichols, but what I will tell you is that he “was Christopher Dorner – before Christopher Dorner.” Fred Nichols “bled blue”; something I NEVER did. He bought into the LAPD system and believed that as an African American who promoted quickly through the ranks and given a coveted position in a high profile unit (SWAT) and the Training Academy that the Department would not do – what the Department did to him. Read my book to find out what can happen when you buy into the LAPD system, forget that you are African American and then have the Department remind you in a “not so subtle” way that you are in FACT – Black.
Outside of writing this book, are you involved in other projects right now?. If you are, would you mind sharing what those are with us?
My other projects are marketing and promoting this book. That is my main focus. My story is compelling and one that the LAPD cannot credibly deny nor refute; however, I know the Department does not want this story to get out to the mainstream. Once, this book becomes the number one seller that it is destined to become – I will work on Part 2 in the series; The Creation of a Manifesto.
Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?
Most immediately, I will be promoting my book at various venues; upcoming is the Give Love Tour featuring Maze, The Whispers and Howard Hewett in San Diego California, November 10, 2013.
I have also been invited to appear on the Dr. Phil Show to discuss racial profiling and the police due to the many recent arrests of African Americans in the news at Macys and Barney’s department stores in New York as well as other racially charged incidents involving African Americans and police officers nationwide. The Dr. Phil Show tapes November 11, 2013; date to air is unknown at this time.
How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?
What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?
I would say don’t second guess your decision, don’t procrastinate – just start writing.
Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?
I would like to thank everyone who reads this and supports me on this journey. It is not easy putting yourself out there for scrutiny, criticism possible retribution in the way that I have but someone needed to do it. I believe that everything we do and go through in life is preparing us for the next phase. We don’t always know what at the time – but I am a believer that what others mean for bad (in your life) – God will make it good. Pray with me and for me…
We would like to thank Ms. Dorsey for her participation with this interview. We encourage everyone to purchase “The Creation of a Manifesto, Black and Blue”. On her website, http://www.cheryldorsey.net, there is a video interview by a local Fox affiliate featuring Ms. Dorsey. Please support her when you can.