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In BlacKkKlansman, when David Duke comes to Colorado Springs, the police chief assigns Ron Stallworth to be his police escort.

Why??

Duke needs a police escort because there have been threats of violence directed at him. The chief assigns Ron.

This decision seems obviously unwise:

  • Ron is a key member of an undercover operation currently investigating Duke's terrorist organization
  • Ron's identity is sensitive because he unthinkingly gave his real name to the KKK when he first made contact
  • Ron is obviously a black man, while Duke and all his pals are very explicitly, formally, and violently anti-black
  • Ron is probably still the only black police officer in town

Is the chief trying to sabotage the investigation? Is he hoping to provoke Duke?

The chief seems like he's not a bad guy. For one thing, he hires Ron in the first place. Later, he promotes him to detective. He green-lights Ron & Flip's investigation, and evidently allocates the resources they needed. And after the KKK bombing is derailed, the chief is part of the tiny sting operation in the bar against the racist cop who harassed Patrice and Kwame earlier in the film.

So why does the chief assign Ron to be Duke's bodyguard?

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  • It was Ron's investigation, the chief wanted him close to it so he could keep an eye on what was happening. Jan 18, 2023 at 21:00
  • @JohnnyBones Please don't post answers as comments.
    – Tom
    Jan 18, 2023 at 21:23
  • It's standard practice to answer questions with comments if you don't have the time or resources to flesh out a complete answer, or if the question doesn't have a lengthy, in-depth answer. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4217/… Jan 18, 2023 at 23:45
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    I would ague that it is not standard practise, and that the accepted answer on that meta is not an answer, just a poor excuse. See instead these metas - rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6533/… and my favourite, photo.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4655/… I'm not saying that I don't do it myself on occasion, just that there's no defence for it, if challenged.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 19, 2023 at 9:42

1 Answer 1

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Because it really happened.

You're absolutely right. It's stupid to assign Ron for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Duke knows his voice from telephone conversations. Putting Ron close to Duke severely risks upending their entire undercover investigation and putting the Klan on full alert.

BUT... it actually happened. Stallworth was assigned to Duke's detail and did talk to him without trying to disguise his voice. Duke did not catch on, obviously, but it was a very unnecessary risk on the part of the police.

So this is a case of Hollywood being accurate in its depiction of historical events.

Thanks to Yorik for the assist here.

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    It could only be chalked up to bad writing if it didn't happen. The real Ron did, in fact, speak with Duke on the phone and was actually assigned to security detail for Duke.
    – Yorik
    Feb 2, 2023 at 18:50
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    Really??? That's... Wow.
    – ruffdove
    Feb 3, 2023 at 1:51
  • I can't believe I forgot that! It didn't even occur to me to check the historical record.
    – Tom
    Feb 3, 2023 at 2:54

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