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Taking the Pledge

What went through the mind of a young black activist when the Chicago Police Department asked him to join the force

What went through the mind of a young black activist when the Chicago Police Department asked him to join the force

This segment originally aired Jan. 18, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

On Friday, the Department of Justice released a report highlighting the urgent need for reform in the Chicago Police Department, citing, among other things, the disproportionate targeting of African Americans.

At the moment, more than half of the city’s police force is white, even though white people make up less than a third of the city’s population. Officials are trying to change that. As part of an effort launched in 2015 to hire almost a thousand new officers, Chicago has specifically focused on attracting minority recruits. But convincing people to join ranks with officers that they feel have oppressed them isn’t easy.

VICE News correspondent Roberto Ferdman went to Chicago to meet one recruit who is torn about joining the force.

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