US

Black police recruit hopes to shatter perceptions

  • In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 photo, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy recruit Renata Phillip, third from right, listens to a lecture in a classroom at the Biscailuz Regional Training Center in Monterey Park, Calif. Phillip is one of just two black women in her class of 84 recruits. More than half are men and most are white or Hispanic.
Only three recruits out of every 100 will make it to graduation, said Capt. Scott Gage, who's in charge of training at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 photo, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy recruit Renata Phillip, third from right, listens to a lecture in a classroom at the Biscailuz Regional Training Center in Monterey Park, Calif. Phillip is one of just two black women in her class of 84 recruits. More than half are men and most are white or Hispanic. Only three recruits out of every 100 will make it to graduation, said Capt. Scott Gage, who's in charge of training at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Friday, July 29, 2016 photo, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy recruit Renata Phillip, center, trains with Steve Erickson during a defensive tactics class at the Biscailuz Regional Training Center in Monterey Park, Calif. Phillip is one of just two black women in her class of 84 recruits. More than half are men and most are white or Hispanic. Only three recruits out of every 100 will make it to graduation, said Capt. Scott Gage, who's in charge of training at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    In this Friday, July 29, 2016 photo, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy recruit Renata Phillip, center, trains with Steve Erickson during a defensive tactics class at the Biscailuz Regional Training Center in Monterey Park, Calif. Phillip is one of just two black women in her class of 84 recruits. More than half are men and most are white or Hispanic. Only three recruits out of every 100 will make it to graduation, said Capt. Scott Gage, who's in charge of training at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 photo, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy recruit Renata Phillip, right, listens to recruit training officer Sean Essex at the Biscailuz Regional Training Center in Monterey Park, Calif. Phillip hopes to be an example to those who’ve never dealt with a black law enforcement officer. “If I can have a positive experience with someone and maybe help them change their mind, why not?” she said. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 photo, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy recruit Renata Phillip, right, listens to recruit training officer Sean Essex at the Biscailuz Regional Training Center in Monterey Park, Calif. Phillip hopes to be an example to those who’ve never dealt with a black law enforcement officer. “If I can have a positive experience with someone and maybe help them change their mind, why not?” she said. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)  (The Associated Press)

Renata Phillip was 11 years into a satisfying teaching career when she shocked her friends and family last August by deciding to become a police officer.

Her decision came amid growing concern over police tactics in the wake of a number of officer-involved shootings of unarmed black men across the country.

Phillip, a black woman who grew up in a mostly white, upper middle class neighborhood east of Los Angeles, says she wasn't motivated by race. But race is a motivation now as she completes her training to become a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy.

Phillip hopes to be an example to those who've never dealt with a black law enforcement officer.

Los Angeles Police Department rookie Asia Hardy says Phillip should expect both criticism and pride on the streets.