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An Interview with Det. Lynn Hampton

Mansfield B. Frazier via CoolCleveland


For the first time in his 22-year career as a Cleveland police officer, Det. Lynn Hampton is concerned about his safety. He’s always stood strongly with his brothers in blue, but increasingly he’s feeling that some cops are making his job more dangerous than it has to or should be.

“The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association is playing with dynamite by endorsing a candidate for president,” Hampton said in an exclusive interview. “This will escalate tensions between law enforcement and members of the community, and nothing good can ever come from that. The city is attempting to negotiate a consent decree with the Department of Justice, and this action could derail it.”

Hampton, who also serves as the president of the Black Shield (the organization started by black police officers in 1946 because of the duress they were under from white cops), has been vocal in his criticism of Loomis and the union for holding the endorsement vote.

“Less than 25 percent of the members took part in the vote, and virtually all officers of color refrained from participating because they knew how divisive such a vote would be. Fully a third of the cops in Cleveland are black or brown, and the city is majority minority, so this was a clear provocation.”

The frequency with which unarmed young black males are gunned down (usually by white cops) and seemingly are never held accountable has neighborhoods all across the country on edge, according to Hampton.


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