Convicted

Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship by Jameel Zookie McGee, Andrew Collins, and Mark Tabb

This powerful true story of forgiveness and reconciliation springing from God’s grace is set in Benton Harbor, Mich. According to author Mark Tabb, who relates the stories of Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins, the once prosperous and growing city became infamous for its racial strife, poverty, violence, murders, high unemployment, drugs, and tensions between police and citizens.

Andrew Collins, a white man, longed to be a police officer—a good cop—who would make a difference in his community, getting drugs and drug dealers off the streets. Instead, Collins became trapped by his pride and a desire to advance his career, no matter the consequences for others. His lies and corrupt practices accelerated—“I was becoming an addict to the attention, to the adrenaline high of an arrest—to myself and to my ego.”

On Feb. 8, 2006, Collins decided to make a big drug bust. He arrested Jameel McGee, a young African American man, on trumped-up drug charges and set in motion a series of events that forever changed the innocent man’s life as well as his own. Each served time in prison, McGee for an offense he did not commit and Collins for the many crimes that he had.

Years later, both released from prison, the two men met unexpectedly at a church-sponsored community event in Benton Harbor. As each listened to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, their slow, surprising path to reconciliation began.
In this moving memoir, both McGee and Collins look unflinchingly at the choices they made that influenced their actions and relationships, both to God and to others. Readers get a hard, personal glimpse into the failures of the United States justice system and its prisons, the pain and injustice caused by racial tension, and the devastating cost of the drug culture. More important, the book points to God, with whom all things—forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration—are possible. (WaterBrook)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.
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