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'I back the blue, but I wake up Black': Officers weigh in on policing and race | Together We Rise

"Police & Race" is a three-part deep dive into the complex relationship between law enforcement and people of color.

SAN ANTONIO —

Meet 10 voices calling for change amid the continuing conflict between police and communities of color. 

"Police and Race" is a KENS 5 series that goes deeper into the complex relationship between law enforcement and people of color. In Part One, the voices who want change shared their views. In Part Two, police have their say. 

John 'Danny' Diaz, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association: "That uniform doesn't make you God. You put your pants on, like everybody else does.

"The community that we deal with are not only your livelihood, but they're your best friends and your best source of information."

Chief William McManus, San Antonio Police Department: "I take my role as a public servant, literally.

"We've been probably one of the most progressive police departments in the country, in terms of our policies and our practices."

Alonzio Hardin, president of the San Antonio Black Police Officers Coalition: " I represent change. And I think it's important for members of the African-American community, especially our youth, to see Black officers. You can do this job. You can do this job and be a part of the change that's necessary.

"I back the blue, but I wake up Black. So I understand."

Geary Reamey, professor at St. Mary's University School of Law: "For me, I think policing and race probably best boils down to understanding implicit bias."

Diaz: "There shouldn't be a fear. There shouldn't be the sense of trying to avoid police officers. We're here for everyone."

McManus: "We have done so much changing our policies, revising our policies, implementing policies to make sure that our policies are the best out there as they pertain to our practices on the street and the way we deal with people on the street.

"How do we get the word out that all these things are being done? Because apparently they're there, and they're not right now getting out the way, I'd like them to get out to let people know."

Hardin: "I've been called Uncle Tom -- a sellout. ‘How can you even wear that uniform? You -- you think like them. You act like them.’ And we haven't even had a conversation. They know nothing about me. I'm here because a situation has gotten to the point where the police need to be involved.

"And it just happens to be me, a Black man in uniform."

To view the full "Police & Race" series from KENS 5, click here.

"Together We Rise" is a series to shed light on issues that divide us to make room for all that unites us. We pledge to acknowledge, listen, and heal each other so we can all get better together.

Find more "Together We Rise" stories here.