“Life throws some of these roadblocks at you, and others you make yourself. After banging up against these roadblocks over and over again, you find yourself in an emotional pit where all you can do is focus on yourself.”
– Jameel, Convicted
Title: Convicted: A Crooked Cop, An Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship
Authors: Jameel McGee & Andrew Collins with Mark Tabb
Published By: WaterBrook, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica B
Genre: Nonfiction, Religion, Biography & Memoir
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Convicted is an engaging story that is extremely relevant to the issues plaguing today’s society. Biographies and nonfiction are normally not my first choice when choosing to read a book. However, I am really glad I decided to read this one! It is not a political story, but rather an honest account of an event that greatly impacted two specific lives of Jameel and Andrew. There isn’t any fancy vernacular or terminology that is usually associated with crime novels. It reads like someone is sitting next to you, telling a story. I enjoyed the simplicity of the story and being able to determine each voice within the chapters. I would have liked a little bit more detail at certain points in the story, but the lack of detail didn’t ruin the book for me.
The moral in Convicted is uplifting and instills hope in society that people can change. Even though Collins was completely in the wrong during his time as a police officer, the fact that he could acknowledge his mistakes and change his life to help others such be an inspiration to others. His decision to help people should show others to be kind to people, think before you say and do things, and that faith is powerful. Both Jameel and Andrew turned to God for advice and strength in their respective times of need. Everyone needs something or someone to turn to in difficult times to help them control their emotions and work through life. Although, this book won’t change what happened in the past, hopefully it can inspire others to change the future.
About the Book:
It reads like a gripping crime novel…except this story really happened.
Racial tensions had long simmered in Benton Harbor, a small city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, before the day a white narcotics officer–more focused on arrests than justice—set his sights on an innocent black man. But when officer Andrew Collins framed Jameel McGee for possession of crack cocaine, the surprising result was not a race riot but a transformative journey for both men.
Falsely convicted, McGee spent three years in federal prison. Collins also went to prison a few years later for falsifying police reports. While behind bars, the faith of both men deepened. But the story took its most unexpected turn once they were released–when their lives collided again in a moment brimming with mistrust and anger. The two were on a collision course—not to violence—but forgiveness.
As current as today’s headlines, this explosive true story reveals how these radically conflicted men chose to let go of fear and a thirst for revenge to pursue reconciliation for themselves, their community, and our racially divided nation.
About the Authors:
– Jameel McGee works for Emergency Shelter Services, a program designed to help homeless people find sustainable housing.
– Andrew Collins is a former police officer who is now a licensed pastor ministering to youth as part of Young Life.
– Mark Tabb is a New York Times best-selling collaborator and author of more than thirty books, including Mistaken Identity, Running for My Life, and Truth Doesn’t Have a Side.
Disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”