LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A police officer turned community activist, Dr. Terrell Carter, is reaching out to communities across the nation to address, understand, and work to resolve racial challenges in the United States. Carter is using his own painful experiences, faith, and scholarly research to start the conversation of understanding racism’s roots and heal the racial divide.
Carter was once a St. Louis police officer. He left the position after five years after testifying against a former partner for planting drugs and taking money from civilians on the street.
“I came forward and told the truth,” the former officer explained. “He ended up spending five years in a federal penitentiary 'cause I testified.”
Carter now spends his time trying to make a difference in the world we live in. After leaving the department, he earned undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees in theology, biblical studies, organizational leadership, and arts management and leadership. He also completed a Doctor of Ministry degree.
Carter has closely followed protests across the nation, including those calling for justice for Breoanna Taylor in Metro Louisville.
“Anytime you try to hold a police officer accountable, people assume that you hate police,” Carter told WAVE 3 News with frustration. “We need to change the system even more than we need to change individual officers. There are a lot of temptations that come along with having that much power and that much authority.”
A settlement between the family of Breonna Taylor and the City of Louisville will pay out one of the largest settlements in U.S. history for the shooting of an African-American person by police. It also includes a host of police reforms.
Carter believes system reform is not only important but critical.
“I don’t hate police,” Carter stressed. “Again, I’m a former police officer. I recognize the challenges they face. I recognize the danger. I recognize that it’s a thankless job, but we still have to hold them accountable so situations like Breonna Taylor’s does not happen.”
Carter prays Americans work to restore and repair relationships in the country while also working hard to make the changes that will make not only make the system of policing better but make every American better.
“I see a nation that is clearly divided,” he said quietly. “It almost seems that we don’t want to find common good.”
Carter has an extensive list of books he has written and currently works full-time in higher education administration.
His sociology works include:
- 10 Commandments for Good Negroes: What It Means to be Black and Christian in America
- Police on a Pedestal: Responsible Policing in a Culture of Worship
- Healing Racial Divides: Finding Strength in Our Diversity
- Walking the Blue Line: A Police Officer Turned Community Activist Provides Solutions to the Racial Divide
- The Lord Gave Me This: Understanding Historic Leadership Development Practices of the Black Church to Prepare Tomorrow’s Leaders
Carter’s ministry-based books include:
- The Only Thing That Matters Is Heaven: Rethinking Sin, Death, Hell, Redemption, and Salvation for All Creation
- Learning to Be the Church in a New World: Recognizing and Overcoming the Challenges to Organized Faith in the 21st Century
- Machiavellian Ministry: What Faith-Filled Leaders Can Learn from a Faithless Politician
- Leadership in Black and White: Practical Suggestions for the Church to Become a Healing Presence Within Divided Communities