ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - The St. Petersburg Police Department is sharing the news of the death of trailblazing retired officer Freddie Crawford.
He was one of the first African-American officers on the police force, at a time when he could only patrol in black neighborhoods and wasn't allowed to arrest a white people.
Crawford became one of the "courageous twelve", a dozen officers on the force who challenged the segregation in a federal lawsuit in 1965. Three years later they won the right to carry out their jobs as intended and to be considered for promotion.
Officer Crawford was eventually assigned to patrol the city's Old Northeast area.
After he retired, he worked with the Department of Justice to resolve racial tensions across the country.
Officer Freddie Crawford was 81.