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The Huffington Post recently reported on the story of Ron Stallworth, a Colorado Spring police investigator who went undercover as a “Black Klansman.” Stallworth had already made history at 22 as both the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs police department as well as being the youngest. In an effort to gather information about the KKK, Stallworth called a number listed in a newspaper ad published by the hate group, and to his surprise, he was offered a membership to join the group in 1979. Over the course of his investigation, Stallworth interacted with various Klan leaders over the phone including the notorious former grand wizard David Duke.
In order to conceal his identity as a black man, Stallworth sent a fellow detective in his place whenever his physical presence was requested by the group. His friend became known as “the white Stallworth.” Stallworth was able to infiltrate the group so well that he was eventually offered and invitation to lead the local KKK chapter in his area due to giving the impression that he was a “loyal and dedicated” member. Not only was Stallworth able to gather information about the group, he was also able to prevent some of the hate crimes being planned by the organization. Although Stallworth’s work yielded many benefits, including getting two KKK members who worked for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) reassigned, what he states that he was most proud of was that during his involvement, “no black child – no child period – ever had to wake up to the sight of a burning cross.”
Stallworth now resides in Layton, Utah and amassed more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. He is also considered an expert on gang violence and culture on which he has written four books. The full story of his undercover investigation of the KKK is published in his book Black Klansman.