Code Blue

An Oath to the Badge and Gun

Poetry - General
118 Pages
Reviewed on 11/21/2017
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Author Biography

I started writing poetry at the age of 13. It wasn't until my late 20s into my early 30s that I realized how much I can utilize my writing to impact others. I wrote this book because of all that is going on in the world between police officers and citizens. It was time to shine some light on the social issues with police brutality but from a police officer's perspective. Some are good and have good intentions but get stuck in a bad spot of the corruption and evil.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun by Jamell Crouthers is the story of a policeman who is dedicated to his job, but when he realizes that there are dishonorable cops, he wonders if he should take action against them or remain quiet. I say this is a story because the flow of these poems is so good that you cannot help but feel as if you are reading a story in a rhythm. The flow is that good and connected!

The poems are written in free form about a police officer named Gary who has a son named Gary Jr. The poems talk about how a faithful and honorable policeman discovers that his fellow officers are not as honorable as he would like to think. This is where his inner tussle begins - should he take action against these dishonorable policemen or should he just put his head down and go about his work. However, if he decides to do nothing about it, how can he live with this guilt?

I loved the fact that the poems talked about almost taboo subjects in a completely unhesitating way. The poems talk about social dilemmas that have plagued police departments all over the world. From racial discrimination to illegal activities, the poet handles everything with poise and expertise. The poems are eye opening and offer an insight into the mind of a conscientious police officer. He is not talking wrongly about anyone or bashing anyone; he is simply showing a side of a society that we know exists yet we are not ready to really talk about. A brilliant read!

Deborah Lloyd

Institutional racism is portrayed in the most repulsive manner possible in Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun by Jamell Crouthers. Written in the first-person narrative, the police officer had every good intention of living up to his ethical code of honor and protecting his community. However, he finds himself reporting to corrupt leaders and riding alongside cruel partners. Receiving orders to plant evidence, brutally beating informants, pulling over men from targeted neighborhoods – the list is long and painful. The dilemma he faces is whether to go along with the corruption which requires telling lies, or neglecting to mention certain facts in police reports, or exposing his commanders and colleagues, resulting in losing his steady paycheck, medical benefits and pension. These are realistic and pragmatic considerations in today’s world. These internal conflicts build over time, as he struggles with making these difficult decisions. The officer’s soul seems to die, bit by bit.

The style of writing in this book is quite unique. Using a poetic, narrative form, the author tells the story with seemingly small fragments of information. Yet, these phrases and thoughts are truly powerful, describing the police officer’s complicated struggles. Although detailed prose is not a part of this work, the reader can easily imagine the settings and the people in the narrator’s life. Author Jamell Crouthers has written a distinctive, one-of-a-kind book in Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun. The reader will be enlightened, and sometimes sickened, by the sobering events. This book is an unforgettable portrayal of the justice system.

Sefina Hawke

Code Blue (An Oath to the Badge and Gun) by Jamell Crouthers is a general poetry book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who are interested in reading stories about police corruption. The story follows a police officer that has been on the force for a couple years and has felt proud of how he has protected and served the community. However, his feelings of pride quickly turn to disgust as he begins to learn that his precinct is corrupt when police bulletins begin ordering police officers to act immorally and illegally against racial minorities, drug dealers, and other bystanders. The officer is faced with the hardest decision of his career. Does he too become corrupt or will he risk it all to do the right thing?

Code Blue (An Oath to the Badge and Gun) by Jamell Crouthers is a well written book with a high level of emotional impact. The author not only touched on many different types of corruption, but he also demonstrated the way that the police officers themselves can feel in such situations. I never realized how the officers could feel if they were being pressured to be corrupt or the amount of peer pressure involved. The style of writing was well chosen as it kept each case focused on the important factors without giving unnecessary details; instead of wasting time with character names, the author just provided the details of each character that were vital to each case. Overall, I walked away from this book feeling emotionally drained and with a new understanding of the ways in which corruption can take hold.