So, here we have me graduating from the police academy. This is my chief at the time. Quite happy to have a gun and a badge. I was working on the bus. We used to wear plain clothes on the bus. And that's me with the general manager. I had just made sergeant. I remember being the only African-American female in that group of promotees. I remember the levels of competitiveness and the gratification that I was able to compete at that level and excel. My name is Tracy Simmons and I am a retired Deputy Chief of the Metro Transit Police Department. I served there for over 25 years in various capacities. I came up through the ranks and I retired at the rank of Deputy Chief and I was the first African-American woman to reach that rank at my police agency. It was very intimidating for a young woman, especially a young black woman.
I was in a highly, you know, Anglo workplace with majority male and it was challenging. You had to get in to fit in, to get along and really, you really still weren't a part of. Be clear. You know, in the police department, there was rampant sexism, rampant racism. There were remarks made in roll calls that, you know, I wouldn't dare repeat. And as I was there, because I was, because I was there, I got to be a voice for things that needed to change and be different. There'll be a certain segment of racism because we come from those same communities. Police officers come from those same communities and they bring along with them their belief systems, their worldviews and their cultural experiences. It's, I think it's come to a head. I think there's a lot of things that we get to see now because of technology that has occurred for many, many years. And that now it's kind of in our face. We all had an opportunity to see George Floyd, you know, be murdered right on television. I've never seen anything like it in my life and I don't think most Americans have. I think though, our country is in a breakdown and I think that around police brutality and law enforcement, I would tell the protesters that I support them wholeheartedly. I would tell them to be thoughtful and be aware that there are other stories and other spaces. That's just part of the story but it's not the real story.It doesn't tell the story of the ten police officers that got killed last week. It doesn't tell that story.Or guy down the street that got shot by other assailants who the police locked up and now they're in jail. So, there are a lot of stories here to be told. And so, I'm hopeful.I do think that there are definite ways that we can begin to change the culture and we get to just, you know, retire out those that want to hold onto the old ways. It's not like….It's changing.And those that aren't ready to change need to move on. They need to go. Because he changed not only this country, not only the United States. He changed the world. George Floyd changed the world. We get to say what legacy George Floyds death has on us as a people. As long as people feel like it isn't going to die out like all the rest of them, because those four officers will go to jail for a very long time. But it doesn't mean I feel super safe about my son driving at night. It just doesn't.