Black, White, And Gray All Over - Book Review

Black, White, And Gray All Over

Author: Frederick Reynolds
Genre: Non Fiction - Memoir
Publisher: MindStir Media
Date Published: August 18, 2021
ISBN-10: 1638485216
ISBN-13: 978-1-63848-521-6

Click here to read a sample

GoodReads Rating:

Book Review of :  Black, White, And Gray All Over


Fred Reynolds's memoir Black, White and Gray All Over is an exciting look at the chaotic but inspiring life of a man who clawed his way from the back streets in Compton, California, to reaching the pinnacle of a career in law enforcement. He took the road less traveled and joined the police force in the hopes of making a difference in the community. Along the way, he saw it all – killing, rapes, drugs, gangs, and his brother officers killed in the line of duty. He even talks about weird things but deadly, like a man galloping on a horse, shooting and killing one man, and wounding a couple more. He talks about all the gangs, the Piru gang,  the Crips, the Bloods, and more. He even narrates a bit of humor into the memoir, like a cop who Reynolds refers to as Fat Jack, who'd never fart in the squad car but would always step out of it and then fart, dramatizing it by shaking his leg to rid himself, of any lingering gas stench. 

The rigors of being a police officer cost him a wife and then a world-shattering event by a cop 2000 miles from Compton had his children questioning the very meaning of the badge he wore. It's a fascinating read to see just about every current hot topic in policing and city government discussed in this tell-all book. Reynolds steps out from behind the Thin Blue Line and gives the inside story on police reform and the many issues facing police.

This is a valuable book for any city experiencing the types of challenges Reynolds addresses: the violent gangs, the mantra of don't help the cop, the distrust of cops by gang dominated communities, the poor police-community relationships, the complicated and negative political involvement with the police, and more. In addition, he talks about being so understaffed that many investigations are never even done.

Reynolds has the courage to talk about his background and growing up in neighborhoods that were not conducive to having a successful future, but he did it. He talks about his family and his belief that he's probably a descendant of slaves from a plantation owned by the Reynolds family. He's a serious student of racial history – in fact, at the early age of eight, he was reading the works of Frederick Douglass.

Very insightful, and when we look at policing today, it is plain to identify the manners of policing described in his gritty memoir. Reynold's book is compelling, insightful, heart-rending, and thought-provoking all at the same time. He has you riding along with him in the squad car as he and his partner hit the streets of Compton, a place he refers to as an abattoir (slaughterhouse). You are there with him, experiencing the explosive, riveting, and incredible street action he faced daily. Black, White, and Gray All Over is recommended reading for anyone analyzing America's interaction with the police of today.

During his illustrious career, Reynolds garners a host of medals for valor and professionalism. Reading his exploits was an adrenaline rush with many comic moments sprinkled in to lighten the narrative. His restlessness and unrelenting drive for action never abates, to the point where he placed himself in personal peril multiple times. A swashbuckling book that is likely to elicit extreme reactions of applause or disapproval depending on the reader's predilection of law enforcement. Black, White, and Gray All Over gives you a newfound respect for the incredibly difficult job police face every day, even more so if you are black.  

About Frederick Reynolds


Frederick Douglass Reynolds is a retired Black LA County Sheriff's homicide sergeant. He was born in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and grew up Detroit, Michigan where he became a petty criminal and was involved in gangs. He joined the US Marine Corps in 1979 to escape the life of crime that he seemed destined for. After a brief stint in Okinawa, Japan, he finished out his military career in southern California and ultimately became a police officer with the Compton police department. He worked there from 1985 until 2000 and then transferred to the sheriff's department where he worked an additional seventeen years, retiring in 2017 with over seventy-five commendations including a Chief's Citation, five Chief's commendations, one Exemplary Service Award, two Distinguished Service Awards, two Distinguished Service Medals, one city of Carson Certificate of Commendation, three-city of Compton Certificate of Recognition, one City of Compton Public Service Hero award, one California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition, two State Senate Certificates of Recognition, a County of Los Angeles Certificate of Commendation, a Meritorious Service Award, two City of Compton Employee of the Year Awards, and two California Officer of the Year awards. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Carolyn, and their daughter Lauren and young son, Desmond. They have six other adult children and nine grandchildren.

Visit for more information on Frederick Reynolds


No comments submitted.
Be the first to comment on this book.

Book Review Request

Instant Grammar Checker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an affiliate, this website earns from qualifying purchases.

Book Reviews of Featured Books

Never Stop Singing to Me
Daft Mejora's Infinite Madness (Or, How to Travel Near America with Friends)
Spies on Safari
Grays of Novart
The World Needs a Uniquely Happy You.
June 17, 1967 - Battle of Xom Bo II