On May 22, 1970, responding to a bogusemergency call to help a pregnant woman, St.Paul patrolman James Sackett was killed by asniper s bullet fired from a high-power rifle.
The white officer s assassination wasthe most shocking event in an era of shocking, racially charged events, punctuated bybombings at Dayton s Department Store andelsewhere, police harassment and shootingsof young black men, an alleged hijacking plot, and random acts of urban violence. A oncepeaceful, close-knit community, St. Paul sSummit-University neighborhood had reacheda boiling point, heated by racism and rage.
Award-winning journalist William Swansonmasterfully walks the razor-edge betweenthe grief and anger of a police force that lostone of its own and the deep-seated resentment and subsequent silence of a community thathad many reasons not to trust the cops. Basedon extensive interviews and archival research, "Black White Blue" recounts the details of one ofthe most extraordinary cold-case sagas in U.S.annals a story featuring dozens of memorablecharacters, including a relentless supercop, an aggregation of conflicted informants, and a haunted woman who grew old with aterrible secret. The case culminates with thecontroversial trials, decades later, of RonaldReed and Larry Clark. Black White Blue is apowerful, true account of crime and punishment, time and memory, race, community, andpersonal relationships.
William Swanson is the author of "Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson." He has written andedited for various publications in the Twin Cities and elsewhere for more than forty years."
Black White Blue
Minnesota Historical Society Press
The Assassination of Patrolman Sackett