Black Klansman: That time a black cop went undercover with the KKK
In his new book, "Black Klansman: A Memoir," soon to be a major motion picture directed by Spike Lee and produced by Jordan Peele; Ron Stallworth tells his extraordinary true story of being a black detective who goes undercover to investigate the KKK.
"When black Colorado Springs Police Officer Ron Stallworth was assigned to protect Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke in 1979, he sought a subtle revenge against him for his racism. Asking to take a photo, he surprised Duke at the last second by placing his arm around him, ensuring the pair would look like friends." ~Larry Getlen, NY Post
In 1979, black Colorado Springs Police Officer Ron Stallworth was assigned to protect Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. As a subtle revenge against Duke for his racism, Stallworth placed his arm around him during a photo to ensure they looked friendly. As reported in the original New York Post article, Duke was steamed! However, what he did not know was for two months, Stallworth had been a part of an undercover operation to collect intelligence on the Ku Klux Klan organization. Stallworth, a detective in the Intelligence Unit had been posing as a white supporter of the KLAN, speaking to Duke and others by phone and getting them to reveal their plans and secrets.
After the photo incident, the undercover investigation was shutdown, to which Stallworth believed was due to the police chief's fear of a public relations fiasco; however, he saved most of the files, which became the basis for the book released June 5, 2018. *Story originally reported by Larry Getlen, New York Post, June 2, 2018
"Black Klansman is an amazing true story that reads like a crime thriller, and a searing portrait of a divided America and the extraordinary heroes who dare to fight back."
From the publisher: When detective Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, comes across a classified ad in the local paper asking for all those interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan to contact a P.O. box, Detective Stallworth does his job and responds with interest, using his real name while posing as a white man. He figures he'll receive a few brochures in the mail, maybe even a magazine, and learn more about a growing terrorist threat in his community.
A few weeks later the office phone rings, and the caller asks Ron a question he thought he'd never have to answer, "Would you like to join our cause?" This is 1978, and the KKK is on the rise in the United States. Its Grand Wizard, David Duke, has made a name for himself, appearing on talk shows, and major magazine interviews preaching a "kinder" Klan that wants nothing more than to preserve a heritage, and to restore a nation to its former glory.
Ron answers the caller's question that night with a yes, launching what is surely one of the most audacious, and incredible undercover investigations in history. Ron recruits his partner Chuck to play the "white" Ron Stallworth, while Stallworth himself conducts all subsequent phone conversations. During the months-long investigation, Stallworth sabotages cross burnings, exposes white supremacists in the military, and even befriends David Duke himself.
Ron Stallworth is a 32-year, highly decorated, law enforcement veteran, who worked undercover narcotics, vice, criminal intelligence and organized crime beats in four states. As the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, Ron overcame fierce racial hostility to achieve a long and distinguished career in law enforcement.