Norman Police Working To Honor Department's First Black Police Officer

Tuesday, February 2nd 2021, 5:37 pm
By: Mike Glover

NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Booker Shackleford was the City of Norman’s first African American police officer and a hero to most people. For his four children, he was just dad.

Marjorie and Michelle Shackleford grew up with what they consider the world’s greatest dad.

"To me and our family, my dad was amazing. You know, he was just dad. He was a normal dad, but from the outside of the house, I personally didn’t realize how much of a big impact he was until we heard stories," Marjorie Shackleford said.

Those would be about the challenges of being a Black police officer when Norman was a sundown town, meaning Black people could not be out of the house after sundown.

"He said when he first started, that he had the police actually called on him. This lady said, 'hey, there’s this black man; I believe he stole a police car and he’s just driving it around,' and they were like, 'no, ma’am, he our new officer,'" Michelle Shackleford said.

Booker Shackleford persevered all the obstacles and never let it change who he was. In fact, his daughters said if a kid called in the middle of the night needing help, he would simply get up, go handle the problems and they never knew any of this.

Booker Shackleford passed in 2010, but his legacy lives on, not only through his children, but to many of the lives he touched at the Norman Police Department and through his compassion as a public servant. The department is looking to have a street named after him.