We’ve been here before and know the way out.

A 1939 Home Owners’ Loan Corporation “Residential Security Map” of Chicago shows discrimination against low-income and minority neighborhoods. The residents of the areas marked in red were denied FHA-backed mortgages. Photograph by Frankie Dintino

It was my last semester in college, mid-week, the sun was shining bright through the windows of Ellis Library. I was researching The Gettysburg campaign for a course presentation, when I read the news, “Student Hadiya Pendleton shot dead after she performs in Obama inauguration.” As I continued the article my mind raced: did I miss something last week? Was she killed in DC? These questions would be answered just a few sentences later. …

Photo by: Chicago Lake Front Traveler

Dispatch: 132?, Beat 132?

Beat 132: yeah, squad — what do ya got?

Dispatch: 132, mental health disturbance on your beat. Moms calling. Son is off his meds — he’s tearing up the place and won’t leave. Are you CIT trained?

Beat 132: 10–4 squad, put it on our box.

Knowing that having more resources and not needing them is better than needing resources and not having them I answer up on the radio. 124, squad, showing us riding with 132.

Dispatch: 10–4. I’ve got you going.

The New Year has just passed and 2020 begins with a cool chill…

How police officers are best positioned to help unite the country

1861–1863 American Flag.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” — Pope John Paul II

Jon Meacham, historian and pulitzer-prize winning author argues in his book, The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels that America has room for the likes of The Klan, who in 1925 and 30,000 strong marched on the nation’s capital; and for folks like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., icon of the Civil Rights Movement and leader of non-violence protests. Meacham further suggests that each era is determined by which of those forces wins out. The Soul…

Photograph by Sebastian Kim / August — The New Yorker

“I tell law students… if you are going to be a lawyer and just practice your profession, you have a skill — very much like a plumber. But if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself… something that makes life a little better for people less fortunate than you.

Seven days ago The New York Times shared a reflection on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Associate Justice, examining the transitions which led her to the highest court in the land. The piece was a brilliant observation highlighting that if you want…

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is sprawled across the booking desk at a police station as his stunned wife, Coretta, looks on. Photo by Charles Moore, 1958

244 years ago we created a document asserting our own right to choose our own government. 231 years ago that government was established, on paper, under the pretense that justice was superior to all else. Unfortunately, “we” is a misnomer and the government that was established fell short, on justice.

At the conclusion of this introduction is a three-part series of writings suggesting what the Third Wave of Policing should look like to ensure the three most important aspects of modern day policing: police effectiveness, police accountability, and public trust.

A couple years ago I had the good fortune to…

Why non-violent protests matters

The phone rings:

Ma: Ju, are you ok?! I just saw what happened at Grant park last night on the news — were you there?

Me: Yes, I was there — I’m fine. One of the first cars on scene. It wasn’t good, Ma. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Let me ring you later. I was at work until 3 am again. I’m going back to sleep.

Ma: Love you, call me later.

Me: Love you, too.

My intent to publish this piece didn’t exist until Saturday morning, when I woke up and saw on social media…

July 8th, 2020


Contact: @JuliusGivens

I am no longer a member of the FOP. Per the request in my letter, I have signed my separation papers. Being that I previously publicly specified the reasons I chose to leave, it would be inappropriate for me to critique their organization moving forward.

To the thousands of people who have reached out in support, thank you. When you’re climbing a mountain alone and at a steep incline, every extra cheer and well wish is felt in abundance.

To the critics, thank you, too — productive dialogue is a good first…

My letter to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President

Dear President J. Catanzara:

It has been an honor of a lifetime to serve the City as a Police Officer. Nothing excites me more than going to work and ensuring the welfare of our city and its citizens — most days, I cannot get there fast enough.

Prior to being the Police I was of the opinion that police officers must always be guided by truth, reason, and fairness in accordance to the law. As the Police I’ve come to learn that the three most important aspects of policing are police effectiveness, police accountability, and public trust. …

How navigating this quartet of identities has helped me realize that these are times in which great men and women would wish to live

Chicago Police officer Givens. Chicago, IL

“Givens! Can you print the arrest and case reports for all the guns you got this month? I’m going to put you in for officer of the month.”

With excitement and speed I rush to log into the computer, print the reports, and re-read them all again before handing them in.

A feeling of accomplishment was an understatement. Cloud nine was where I was.

But I wouldn’t be there long.

At 29 years old I am the son of a Black mother that raised six children, alone. Two of my siblings are adopted.

I have a brother that trains everyone…

How we must never forget who we rightly serve: the people.

Chicago Police officer Givens on the banks of Lake Michigan. Chicago, IL

Nearly two years ago, while running the last few laps of my police academy physical fitness entrance exam, I noticed a woman — in the early mornings of winter, walk to her front lawn and begin to yell.

I was barely maintaining first place during the run, breathing in the cold Chicago winter air and freezing! As a consequence, I was reluctant to slow down, get passed up, to see what she was yelling about. However, when I came around again — she was still there. This time, I heard her clearly: “Y’all didn’t come this far to fail! Don’t…

Julius Givens

A Chicago Police Officer committed to the three most important aspects of policing: Public Trust, Police Accountability, and Police Effectiveness.

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