It’s 1978, and Colorado Springs Police Department’s first ever African-American detective Ron Stallworth spots a classified advert in the local newspaper. Apparently, the Ku Klux Klan is looking to recruit new members, and Stallworth wastes no time in penning a response. What he didn’t know at the time, though, was that this single act would lead to one of the most bizarre events in the Klan’s history.
Stallworth was born on June 18, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois. And at first, he seemed destined for a tough life amid the poverty and violence of the city’s South Side. Ultimately, though, Stallworth’s mother relocated the family across the country to El Paso – close to the border with Mexico.
In El Paso, Stallworth found himself living across the road from one of the city’s inaugural black police officers. He looked up to his neighbor, whom Stallworth would refer to as “a good man” and a “role model” in an August 2018 interview with the BBC. Then, in 1972 Stallworth’s family left Texas for Colorado Springs.