Author's note: After the death of George Floyd, we had a series of conversations about race. This one, with state Rep. John Lovick, still sticks with me. Lovick's background — having grown up in the Jim Crow south, and a long career in law enforcement — provided a unique perspective on a moment when the nation was focused on the intersections of race and policing. I appreciated that he spoke from the heart. It's not easy to do that under the best of circumstances, let alone at such a painful time for so many people. And while there was pain in this conversation, I also heard hope. (This story originally aired June 4, 2020.)
State Rep. John Lovick spent more than 30 years in uniform with the Washington State Patrol. He was the Snohomish County sheriff and then the county executive. He's also Black, and he grew up in Louisiana in the 1950s and 60s.
And he’s been watching and listening to the chants and the voices and the protests we've seen in Washington state and around the country over the last several days.
He told KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco that he still believes that America’s soul can be redeemed. Hear an extended version of their conversation, below.