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Charles Gray
John Ellis "Bo" Blackwell, city police officer
John Ellis "Bo" Blackwell, city police officer

John Ellis "Bo" Blackwell, one of the first African-Americans to be appointed to the Baltimore Police Department, who overcame racism and enjoyed a 30-year career with the department, died Oct. 30 of respiratory failure at Sinai Hospital. The Ellicott City resident was 83. "John was a pioneering African-American officer and he kept us focused. We stand on his shoulders," said Edward V. Woods, who served as police commissioner from 1989 to 1993. "Thank God for people like John who always gave his all. We are a better community for it and the department is now a healthy and representative mixture of people," said Mr. Woods. "It is now representative of all...

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