"What I was required to do that day was cruel"
Troy Lawrence grew up in a muted greys of concrete and despair in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He lived within a pervasive fog of poverty where not much beyond arm’s reach could be seen or attained.
For Chicago Heights police, young Troy Lawrence was low-hanging fruit. In the fall of 1992, 17-year-old Troy was repeatedly arrested by two corrupt police officers. Every month, the same two officers patroled Fifth Avenue arresting young Black boys. Troy was repeatedly arrested for possessing $10 “dimebags” of cocaine. Troy pled guilty to all three arrests, mostly because he wanted to get out of jail. Troy was released after 120 days in a boot camp for young offenders. Youthful choices are often regretful. Troy didn’t know at the time that teenage mistakes would later contribute to his federal life sentence.