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Black Utah man goes undercover as member of the Ku Klux Klan

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A black Utah man is now talking about what some would consider the unthinkable. As an undercover officer he became a member of Ku Klux Klan. Thursday he spoke to Good 4 Utah's Brian Carlson about his experience.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A black Utah man is now talking about what some would consider the unthinkable. As an undercover officer he became a member of Ku Klux Klan. Thursday he spoke to Good 4 Utah's Brian Carlson about his experience.

"If looks could kill, I would not be here sitting talking to you today," said Ret. Sgt. Ron Stallworth, author of “Black Klansman.”

You wouldn't believe it unless former Utah police Sgt. Ron Stallworth told you himself. In 1979 he went undercover as a black member of the Ku Klux Klan.

"I did the talking on the phone, when they needed a face to face I would send in Chuck posing as me, or as I liked to refer to him as the white Ron Stallworth, he said.

With the help of another detective, while working in Colorado Springs, Stallworth gained the trust of the local KKK and convinced them to give him membership.

"They never once picked up on the fact that they were talking to two distinct voices," said Stallworth.

He had a card signed by David Duke himself. The Klan trusted him with their plans to commit crimes, and threaten African Americans by burning crosses, something Stallworth put a stop to three times during his investigation.

"One of the things I'm most proud of is no black child, no child period ever had to wake up to a burning cross," Stallworth said.

All documented in his recently released book “Black Klansman,” Stallworth got unprecedented access to one of America's most notorious hate groups.

"Why risk your personal safety?” Carlson asked.

“It was my job, it was my job," Stallworth said.

Over nine months he did it so well, the KKK considered him one of their most respected members.

"So they took a vote, they took a unanimous vote and they wanted Ron Stallworth to become the leader of the Ku Klux Klan chapter because he was quote loyal and a dedicated Klansman," he said.

There's a lot more experiences Carlson couldn't cover with the short time ABC 4 Utah has in the newscast, but they’re all in his book Black Klansman. If like to purchase the book, click on this link – Black Klansman. If you'd like to have Stallworth speak to your group or class about his stories, call him at 801-898-6953.  

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv

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