The Real Deal: Truth From an Ex-Con

Editor’s Note:  Thomas Maynard recently wrote The Fallacy of the Black Lives Matter Movement.  An ardent supporter of law enforcement, he wanted to encourage our audience.  Tom is honest and in that honesty he is real and raw.  We are thankful for his submission.

I am a certified mental health peer specialist here in New York City, specializing in forensics. I work with gang members , people coming out of jails, prisons, homeless shelters and other forms of socially maladaptive behaviors.

Prior to.this,  I was also a gang member and I existed in the same environments of those that I aim to help today.

It has been a long, hard journey back to sanity and humanity.  That journey has been fraught with set backs, challenges, and struggles far too many to mention here .

My time in prison was not easy. I had to survive among some of the most vile people in our society. I’ve been beaten to a pulp, stabbed repeatedly, sexually abused by twisted and corrupt  prison guards who get off on perversion.

I’ve witnessed rapes, sexual assaults, stabbings and death.  I’ve shared my cell with rats, cockroaches and other things I don’t care to mention here.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I took those harsh experiences as lessons on what it felt like to be on the receiving end of the pain and trauma that I inflicted on the lives of the innocent people that I went after.  Karma it seems is a real bitch……

I was determined to return back to my community and make it safer for those living in it.  Instead of being the problem, I wanted to be part of the solution.

I will remember those officers and inmates who saw the good in me and protected me.  They are why I am here today to do my part.

I will tell the truth to young people about the terrifying experiences I had to endure.

And that gang banging  and living outside of the law has grave consequences.

I was in for a rude awakening.

I came back into a community that was ravished by the crack era.

The embracing of the gang culture and thug mentality was rampant.

It was like being released from one prison into another.

I managed to achieve my goals of enhancing the quality of life for my community but in order to do so, at times, I had to revert back to my former behavior to get my point across.

I wasn’t always nice.

I used my propensity for violence and former predatory behavior to rid my community of such elements. After awhile, law enforcement noticed.

They found that I was cleaning up the problems rather than being a problem.

I began to make friends within Law Enforcement and gained the respect and trust of them.

I began to see in my own dealings with this new breed of youth what cops are up against and the threat that these new ultra violent youth pose to communities of color and society at large.

I began to see the devastation of what broken homes, poor parenting, weak fathers and the lack of positive role models were doing to the youth in my community.

The open hostility exhibited towards  good and honest police officers who have a genuine concern for the community is shocking.

There is an unwillingness of people to step up and take back their community.  The fear of these new “super thugs” is real among the residents.

There is an unwillingness of communities of color to work with Law Enforcement.

There is a hypocrisy of black civic leaders who play the race card for self advancement.

Yeah – I said it. You know who you are.

The youth are not only preying on the citizens but they are attacking on good police officers who are being seriously hurt, left permanently disabled  and even murdered.

Adding insult to injury are the smear campaigns against law enforcement by weak and cowardly groups like Black Lives Matter.

Yeah, black community……I said it…..And many of you are thinking it!

I’ve grown tired of all the political rhetoric and lies at the expense of good, effective policing – which is costing police officers their lives on the streets.

My message to police officers is this.


You do whatever you have to do to ensure your safety. It’s YOU out there on the front lines – while politicians sit back in their smug offices and create laws that hamper effective policing and place you and the public in more danger.

Body cameras?

Give me a fucking break!


Thomas Maynard is a certified mental health peer specialist, with a specialty in the field of forensics, working with gang members; people coming out of jail, prison, psychiatric hospitals, and homeless shelters; and other forms of socially maladaptive behavior.

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