The mere mention of the Ku Klux Klan strikes some Black people with fear even to this very day. Between 1979 and the early 1980s however, a Black police officer went deep undercover and managed to become a member of the hate group.
Sgt. Ron Stallworth, a retired officer who worked in Colorado, lived to tell his incredible tale using some savvy techniques to keep his real identity secret. Stallworth, who now resides in Layton, Utah, worked a yearlong sting on a KKK operation in Colorado Springs. He was able to earn the trust of the group in a series of phone calls and by using his white partner on the force as his stand-in. The Klan never realized the voices weren’t the same.
Stallworth was so convincing that the group’s leader, David Duke, awarded him with a signed membership card. While running the sting, Stallworth learned that the Klan’s planned to intimidate Blacks in Colorado with an old technique – burning crosses.