A little more than a year ago, Asia Hardy was in Phillip’s shoes, training to become an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.
The 26-year-old, who grew up in an idyllic, close-knit neighborhood in Pasadena, has been a probationary officer for just over a year, working the beat she requested in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
She said Phillip should expect both criticism and pride on the streets. “I get called a sellout sometimes,” she said. Some will tell her: “Why are you doing the white man’s job?” Others see Hardy as a beacon. She wanted to become a police officer to serve as an example to other black people.
“They’ll say, ‘I’m glad you’re out here representing us,’” she said. “Or you get the little girl pointing at you and saying, ‘Look, Mommy, there’s a girl cop.’ Things like that make my day. I want that little girl to know she can grow up and be a cop if she wants to.
Hardy plays with her daughter, 4-year-old Mali Hudson, outside her home in Altadena, California, August 11, 2016.