It would certainly not be the first high-profile case of supposed law-enforcement personnel doing the bidding of the criminal syndicates. It is a long-standing problem. In February 2000, Tijuana’s police chief was assassinated, and a short time later, seven men, including two former members of the Tijuana police force, were arrested for the chief’s killing. The men confessed to working for the Sinaloa cartel. In another incident, a bloody gun battle ensued in downtown Tijuana when police attempted to stop a drug trafficker’s armed motorcade. The commander of the police unit and three officers were killed by the trafficker’s bodyguards. Those bodyguards, it turned out, were local police officers.
Winslow wrote The Force during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, with names like Freddie Gray, Philando Castile and Michael Brown echoing in his ears. The book’s first few pages reveal another side of this tragic political environment. Winslow writes, “During the time that I was writing this novel, the following law enforcement personnel were murdered in the line of duty. This book is dedicated to them.” Next comes a gut-wrenching two-and-a-half-page list of names—178 fallen officers, one after another, separated only by commas.