Jefferson City, MO 37° View Live Radar Sun H 44° L 22° Mon H 43° L 24° Tue H 30° L 17° Weather Sponsored By:

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

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

October 5th, 2011 in News

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?"