Shreveport’s First Black Police Officer Dies
The City of Shreveport and its police department are mourning the death of Shreveport's first black police officer.
William "Bill" Hines joined the police force in 1954 and served for 21 years before retiring in 1975 with the rank of Captain. In 1978, he entered the ministry.
At the time he joined the department, much of Shreveport was still segregated. This was ten years before the Civil Rights Act. So Hines spent the first several years of his tenure walking his beat because he wasn't allowed to have a patrol car. After he retired, Hines won a class action lawsuit against the department, forcing it to promote more black officers and to allow them to work in more areas of the department.
Upon learning of Hines' passing, Mayor Cedric Glover issued the following statement: "Bill Hines was a true trailblazer not only for the police department but for our entire city. The courage it took for him to maintain his professionalism and stay focused on doing the job that he was called to do during a time when racism was overt and obvious is something that very few of us can actually imagine, let alone relate to." Glover ended his statement by saying, "So, the debt of gratitude we owe him for the sacrifices he made is one that can never be fully repaid."
Hines went into the hospital over the weekend and died this (Wednesday) morning.