Police on a Pedestal

Responsible Policing in a Culture of Worship

by Terrell Carter


In 2017, 987 people were fatally shot by police in the United States.

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Cover image for Police on a Pedestal

June 2019


Pages 138
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/Law and Crime
  Race and Ethnicity/General

This book provides readers with insight into the intellectual, emotional, and social challenges experienced by law enforcement personnel while simultaneously challenging readers to understand the need to hold law enforcement responsible when they violate legal codes of conduct.

Relationships between law enforcement and minority cultures in the United States have historically been filled with tension. These relationships continue to be strained due to multiple high-profile shootings of unarmed minorities by police officers. Outrage over these incidents has launched local and national demonstrations protesting police brutality and militarization of law enforcement. Such demonstrations have also renewed conversations about the inherent value of black and brown lives.

One of the main questions facing our nation is "What needs to occur for there to be peace between minority cultures and law enforcement?" Exploring some of the historic reasons for the divisions between law enforcement and minority cultures, this book is informed by the author's experiences growing up as a black child in St. Louis, MO, where he ultimately served simultaneously as a pastor of an urban congregation and as an officer who patrolled two of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods. Writing from his experiences, the author illuminates the temptations officers regularly face when interacting with minority cultures. He also provides solutions that faith-based communities can adopt to help law enforcement to do their jobs in more equitable ways.


  • Examines the social, political, and economic implications and impacts of police worship in the United States
  • Explores attitudes and practices of law enforcement agencies as they have related historically to interaction with people of minority cultures
  • Reveals the inherent classism and racism that serve as the foundation for most law enforcement practices and explores how these inherent principles play out through multiple contemporary real-world examples
  • Provides readers with tools to help law enforcement personnel and the people they serve to better understand each other and coexist in communities
Author Info

Terrell Carter, DMin, is a former police officer for the City of St. Louis, Missouri. During his tenure as an officer, he patrolled two of St. Louis's most dangerous districts as a uniformed patrolman and plainclothes narcotics investigator. Carter currently serves as vice president and chief diversity officer at Greenville University in Greenville, Illinois. Previously, he served as assistant professor and director of contextualized learning at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas. In addition to having earned a doctor of ministry degree, he is completing a PhD in education with an emphasis in how race affects the educational opportunities of minority cultures.

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