Local

Md. Remembers Baltimore’s First African-American Top Cop, Bishop Lee Robinson

View Comments
Bishop Robinson
Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
Read More

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up
Popular Entertainment Photo Galleries

POEts: The Legendary, The Celebrity, The Local, The ControversialPOEts: The Legendary, The Celebrity, The Local, The Controversial

Celebrities Born Outside The U.S.Celebrities Born Outside The U.S.

Top Celebrities On TwitterTop Celebrities On Twitter

Ranking Stephen KingRanking Stephen King

Famous Women Who Underwent Double MastectomiesFamous Women Who Underwent Double Mastectomies

» More Photo Galleries

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—He wasn’t only Baltimore’s top cop, he was the city’s first African-American police commissioner. Bishop Robinson died Monday at age 86.

Alex DeMetrick has more on this remembrance.

Symbols of mourning are up above the front doors of the Baltimore police headquarters named for Bishop Robinson.

To achieve that honor, “I remember all the trials and tribulations, the good and the bad times.  Times when I wanted to give up,” Robinson once said.

In 1952, African-American officers walked beats only in black neighborhoods.

Black cops were not allowed to drive patrol cars.

Climbing ranks during changing times eventually brought Robinson to the top of the department.

Then Mayor William Donald Schaefer appointed him police commissioner in 1984.

Robinson became Baltimore’s first black commissioner.

“The profound respect of people throughout the black community because he represented someone who had broken a barrier,” said Kweisi Mfume, former congressman and NAACP president.

When Schaefer was elected governor, he appointed Robinson to another tough job: Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services, just as Maryland’s aging prisons were filling up.

“An unprecedented amount of growth in the prison population, so he was dealing with all kinds of overcrowding issues,” said state police spokesman Greg Shipley.

Shipley worked with Robinson in those difficult days.

“He said, ‘Son, find a job nobody else wants to do and do it well.’  And he said, ‘You’ll never be out of work,’” Shipley recalled.

“He was always very, very cognizant of the fact he could not fail in anything that he did because in doing so, he’d be letting down the hopes that a lot of people carried,” Mfume said.

Robinson died from Alzheimer’s at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson.

Funeral arrangements are still pending.

Other Local News:

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,295 other followers