Diop Kamau

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Diop Kamau (born Don Jackson, March 16, 1958) is an American civil rights activist who investigates and works to resolve instances of police misconduct, neglect, or abuse. In 1994 he founded policeabuse.com, and is also its CEO.


Kamau is a former decorated Police Sergeant Detective with the Hawthorne, California Police Department[1] who resolved to go undercover and expose racism and brutality by some police officers after his 65-year-old father (a Sheriff's Deputy) was pulled over and brutalized by police in 1988, with police claiming they had mistaken him for a 25-year-old robbery suspect.[2]

Today, Kamau and his organization work to address instances of police misconduct regardless of whether racism is involved. The organization is not anti-police and makes a point of commending "good cops",[3] and offering online instruction programs[4] for instructors of law enforcement officers. The Police Complaint Center continues to expand operations, including via the PoliceAbuse.com radio[5] program and the InmateAbuse.tv[6] program for investigating complaints of prisoner abuse. The Police Complaint Center works with various public and private organizations sharing its Civil Rights / Law Enforcement agenda, such as the United States Department of Justice.[citation needed] On April 15, 2009, Kamau and the Police Complaint Center cooperated with West Hartford, Connecticut police to peacefully resolve a standoff between the city's S.W.A.T. team and an agitated suspect.[7] In its own report of the incident, The Police Complaint Center commends the Hartford Connecticut police:

Alternately, the Police Complaint Center publishes online a description of The Dirty Dozen, a short list of police officials which the organization claims have especially violated the public trust. The epithet is reference to a 1967 anti-Nazi World War II film The Dirty Dozen.


Two of the higher-profile investigations of police misconduct in Kamau's career involve incidents in 1989 and 2006. On January 15, 1989, the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Kamau pretended to be a nondescript driver in the "posh Westwood Village area of Los Angeles". He was evidently pulled over for "driving while black" by a white police officer, and after he repeatedly asked the detaining officer why he'd been stopped, the officer rushed Kamau and slammed his head through a plate glass window, not realizing the entire scene was being videotaped.[8] The incident and other details of Kamau's career have been depicted and discussed with him in episodes of NBC's NBC's Today Show, CBS's 60 Minutes, Dateline NBC, ABC's 20/20, CNN and numerous other local and national television news programs.[citation needed] More recently, an undercover operative for the Police Complaint Center appears to have had his head slammed into a plate glass partition at the Independence, Missouri Police Department late on March 24, 2006, after anonymously requesting a police complaint form.[9] The incident was also captured on video camera, and was widely broadcast to the public by KCTV-5, the CBS affiliate in Kansas City, Missouri. [10][11] [12]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to the actress Tyra Ferrell.[13] He was born in Los Angeles, California.


External links[edit]