JUST RELEASED ON AMAZON
I have already fielded many questions about the book title, its cover, and the cover’s symbolism. I will describe from top to bottom.
I felt it was imperative to have the full agency name and “Blue Code of Silence” in the title which is the main theme for the book.
The facial image is in fact Terrance Franklin. We felt it was important for his face and eyes to be seen, but also at least some of his dreads. The dreads become an important factual feature with the case facts as the book details. I remember when I first saw the first draft of the cover, which Drea Solon did so well ( it was hardly amended), I actually got misty like Walt Franklin did in court at one of the last hearings as depicted in the book.
Terrance’s image is a reminder that he was a once living, breathing human being before his life was illegally taken.
Drea did amazing work with the cover, and the images of high rise buildings in the white of the Blue Code make clear that this was an urban killing, not rural – which historically has been true with the death of black males at the hands of U.S. law enforcement.
The key to the cover’s symbolism is the police badge. The image is in fact the badge of an MPD officer. I personally took the picture of it on top of a black grill outside such that portions of the image picked up the image of the blue, partly cloudy sky. The badge number, four digits, located under “POLICE OFFICER”, was redacted to maintain the officer’s anonymity.
Strangely, as can be seen on the left side of that portion of the picture, the image is that of a black or dark cloud. I can assure readers that this was totally inadvertent since there were no black clouds in the Minnesota sky depicted when I did the photo shot of the badge. I guess this is in the category of “you can’t make it up….”
So, what does the black cloud mean? Readers are welcome to reach their own conclusions, but these are the thoughts of me, Drea Solon, Rob Ebben, and Steve Rogers: The depiction of the badge without a number equates to anonymity, and considering the conduct detailed in our book, our allegation of a
later cover-up makes it a dirty, tarnished badge. The notion of speaking and doing things without having to take responsibility was also on our minds. There is also the symbolism historically that when one does something bad from the perspective of Judeo-Christian ethics, there is a black cloud over their head.
This is also a reminder of the many secrets that exist over the course of U.S. history of the killing of black citizens, the truth of which I contend will never be fully known.
Lastly, the yellow police tape “DO NOT CROSS” is probably self-explanatory. We feel the meaning of this is: “Do not attempt to find the truth.”
These are merely my thoughts corroborated by these three smart guys, but I am confident that the readers will have other thoughts on these concepts, and I look forward to hearing from all of you! Feel free to e-mail me if you like at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mike Padden