Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Sun, 10.01.1939

Riley Gilchrist, Policeman and Community Activist born

Reiley Gilchrist

*Riley Gilchrist was born on this date in 1939. He was a Black police officer.

From Minneapolis, he was the son of Doris and Riley Gilchrist Sr. In 1957; he had three younger brothers and two sisters; Wendell, Gary, Jay Helen, and Diane. He graduated from Minneapolis Central H. S. In 1970, he became a Minneapolis officer, working in south Minneapolis and later for the juvenile division. When he began as one of six Black officers on the force, Gilchrist offered advice on policing black neighborhoods, including "talking with the kids on the street corner" and having officers more involved in the community. 

Gilchrist married his wife, Judy, during this time. He experienced name-calling from black youths and felt distrust of white officers. The force adjusted, and late in his career, Gilchrist said, "In the heat of the moment, the people don't see you; all they see is blue." He stayed with the force until 1993, serving the community as an MPD officer for 23 yrs. Continued to serve as an investigator for the HC Public Defenders office for ten more yrs. He mentored children in the community as a youth football coach and a sponsor for the Fairway Foundation, introducing youth to golf. Riley

Gilchrist died on November 6, 2005. "He always tried to do right," said former Minneapolis Police Chief Tony Bouza, who lamented the difficulty recruiting black officers and praised Gilchrist for his effort. He is survived by his wife, Judy; sons Jeffrey of Burnsville and Shaun of Grenada Hills, Calif.; daughter Alyson Nelson of Apple Valley. 

To Become a Policeman or Detective

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Popsicle Cold Now that the story has moved out of the headlines the widow of the dead black hero stands alone at the public market purchasing polluted pork with government... POPSICLE COLD and CLAIRVOYANCE by Norman Jordan.
Read More