Breaking the color barrier: Patrol's first black trooper recalls career

Former Missouri Highway Patrolman David McPherson talks about his experiences as Missouri’s first black patrolman in 1965.

Former Missouri Highway Patrolman David McPherson talks about his experiences as Missouri’s first black patrolman in 1965. Photo by Kelley McCall.

He never intended to be a pioneer, David McPherson recalled this week while visiting the Missouri Highway Patrol’s General Headquarters.

“I thought I was coming to make a contribution,” he said. “I’d served my country ... and I knew I wanted a law enforcement career.”

But he knew he was going to be a pioneer as soon as he asked for an application, and the trooper working the desk in the Patrol’s Kirkwood office told him: “Don’t you know that we don’t have any Negroes on the Highway Patrol in the state of Missouri?”

Read additional details in our newspaper or e-Edition. Newspaper subscribers: Click on an e-Edition article and log in using your current account information at no extra charge. For e-edition help, e-mail circ@newstribune.com. Click here to purchase the full version of archived articles.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - comments