Title: Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness & Friendship
Author: Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins with Mark Tabb
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
This book is about two men who came across one another at a store in Benton Harbor, Michigan. One is a white cop and the other is a black man buying groceries for his son. It is on this day (February 8, 2006), that Jameel McGee was arrested for something he didn’t do. Andrew Collins is the cop who arrested him for possession of drugs with the intention to distribute. Jameel is confused and angry about the unlawful arrest. He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s not some big-time drug dealer that the cops are after. Collins is convinced that Jameel is a drug dealer and arrests him after finding dope in “his” car. To ensure that another drug dealer is off the streets of Benton Harbor, Collins lies on his report and to the court about Jameel, sending him to prison for the next three years.
Angry and filled with a desire for revenge, Jameel McGee waits for the chance to pay back the cop who ruined his life. But while in prison, Jameel is called by God to let go of his anger and that He’s got it. Jameel learns to let go of his revenge and his anger and after three years behind bars, he is set free. Collins faces the consequences for his unlawful actions. He is caught with drugs that he had been using as extra evidence against drug dealers and gaining extra money for himself illegally. He loses his job as a cop and soon afterwards is sent to prison for the next 18 months.
The two men are eventually reunited in Benton Harbor and from there they embark on a journey of forgiveness and redemption. From that journey, they will learn about the power of forgiveness and grace that lets God back into their lives. They will discover things about themselves and how no matter what storms come their way in life, God is always in control.
I would recommend this book to others because it is a powerful true story of forgiveness and redemption. Because of our fallen nature, we tend to think we got this or we can fix that when life throws a curve ball at us. We often fail to turn to God for help. Sometimes the bad experiences we have are God’s way of testing our relationship with Him or getting us to come back to Him. When we let our pride or our unwillingness to let God be in control of our lives, things go from bad to worse. God’s grace works wonders in a person’s life when he or she is willing to forgive and ask God for forgiveness for all the hurt and the pain that has been done to them and the suffering they have caused others. Taking responsibility for these wrong actions takes a lot of courage and humility. I would ask others to recognize that this isn’t just a true story about two men getting over what some people may call racial prejudice, but something much deeper than that, something spiritual.
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