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About Convicted

As current as today’s headlines, this explosive true story reveals how these radically conflicted men chose to let go of fear and a thirst for revenge to pursue reconciliation for themselves, their community, and our racially divided nation. 

Jameel McGee: “For the next three years not a day went by that I didn’t think about my son who I had never seen and the cop who had kept me from him. And for most of those three years I promised myself that if I ever saw this cop again, I was going to kill him. I intended to keep that promise.”
 
Andrew Collins: “I watched this angry man march through a crowd, a little boy and another man struggling to keep up with him....The man walked straight up to me, stopped, and stuck out his hand. I took it. “Remember me?” he asked in a tone that sounded more like a threat than a question. Somehow, a name came to me. ‘Jameel McGee,’ I replied.”
 
It reads like a gripping crime novel…except this story really happened.
 
Racial tensions had long simmered in Benton Harbor, a small city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, before the day a white narcotics officer--more focused on arrests than justice—set his sights on an innocent black man. But when officer Andrew Collins framed Jameel McGee for possession of crack cocaine, the surprising result was not a race riot but a transformative journey for both men.
 
Falsely convicted, McGee spent three years in federal prison. Collins also went to prison a few years later for falsifying police reports. While behind bars, the faith of both men deepened. But the story took its most unexpected turn once they were released--when their lives collided again in a moment brimming with mistrust and anger. The two were on a collision course—not to violence—but forgiveness.

Praise

“In Convicted, Mark Tabb has captured a story that illustrates the grace and redemption first modeled for the world by Christ on the cross. It’s also a story of an improbable friendship that will challenge your assumptions and transform the way you see all those who might live on the other side of town. Convicted is a must-read for anyone who longs for the day when the dividing lines of race, class, and bigotry are finally overcome by the greater forces of love, forgiveness, and brotherhood.”
—Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and author of Be Light

“What an amazing story of the work the Holy Spirit can do in our lives when we allow him and the power of forgiveness to heal all wounds!”
—Daniel Muir, former NFL player with the Indianapolis Colts and other teams

“By all accounts, Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins should be hardened, bitter enemies. But their story demonstrates in a powerful way how God can bring beauty out of brokenness. Convicted is a gripping true story that you don’t want to miss.”
—Jim Daly, President – Focus on the Family

About Andrew Collins

Andrew Collins is a writer and broadcaster. Having worked for NME, Empire and Q, he regularly broadcasts on Radio 2, Radio 4 and 6 Music. He is Film Editor of Radio Times, co-writer of BBC sitcoms Grass and Not Going Out, and author of Where Did It All Go Right? and Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now.

Product Details

224 pages | Published by WaterBrook

On Sale Date: Oct 9, 2018

Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4

Carton Quantity: 24

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chelsea Woodward
Associate Publicist
cwoodward@penguinrandomhouse.com

 
White Cop Frames Innocent Black Man, Results in 10-Year Sentence and Unlikely Friendship
 
Now Available in Paperback
 
“It’s a story of an improbable friendship that will challenge your assumptions and trans­form the way you see all those who might live on the other side of town. Con­victed is a must-read for anyone who longs for the day when the dividing lines of race, class, and bigotry are finally overcome by the greater forces of love, forgiveness, and brotherhood.”—Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
 
Narcotics Officer Andrew Collins of the Benton Harbor, Michigan Police Department was looking to create a name for himself landing drug busts, and he was not above letting the rules get in the way. When Jameel McGee crossed paths with Collins on Feb. 8, 2006, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and found himself charged with possession of crack cocaine. Convicted: An Innocent Man, the Cop Who Framed Him, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship by Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins with Mark Tabb (Oct 9, 2018, Trade Paperback, WaterBrook) is the powerful and award-winning true story of how the course of these two men’s lives were forever changed because of a chance encounter in a community long troubled by racial strife. where one is deemed guilty by association.
 
McGee was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for a crime he did not commit. For the next three years, he had one thought on his mind. “I promised myself that if I ever saw that cop again, I was going to kill him. I intended to keep that promise,” writes McGee.
 
As Collins’s life began to unwind, he admitted to falsifying evidence and drug possession, which landed him in prison too, where he spent 18 months. Just one week following Collins’s guilty plea, McGee’s conviction was overturned. Having served three years, he was set free at last, but his life was left in shambles.
 
These two men—one white and one black—still living in the racial powder keg of Benton Harbor crossed paths again. First, they found themselves face-to-face at a church event in Broadway Park. Seeing an angry man headed in his direction, Collins braced himself for the punishment that was coming. With a battle raging inside him, McGee had to decide at this moment: Would he take violent revenge or would he peacefully walk away?
 
McGee’s life continued on a rocky path with bouts of unemployment and homelessness. The two men found themselves divinely put together again in a community rehabilitation program called Jobs for Life, working side-by-side at Mosaic Café.  McGee was assigned to work with Collins, who asked McGee, There’s a lot of history between us. Do you really think we can move beyond it all and move forward?” McGee replied, Yeah, we gotta be able to do that. And if we can move forward, then maybe we can teach other people how to do the same.”
 
Both men, now transformed by faith, confronted their mutual pasts head-on. The outcome was not only forgiveness, but true reconciliation.
 
This compelling and emotionally raw telling of their transformative journey serves as an example to a racially divided nation that it’s possible to work through our differences and pain to come together in respect and friendship. How is it possible to forgive a man responsible for taking away three years of your life?  By submitting his anger to God, McGee found a way, and in doing so, both McGee and Collins found freedom. The result is an inspiring story for everyone seeking a path that unites rather than divides our communities and our country.
 
For more information, visit www.waterbrookmultnomah.com or http://convictedbook.com/

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Andrew Collins was a police officer with the Benton Harbor Police Department for nearly five years until he resigned due to an investigation for misconduct. He was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, of which he served 18 months. Jameel McGee was in the process of opening his own business when he was arrested by Collins for possession of crack cocaine. He was sentenced to 10 years and served three years in federal prison until his conviction was overturned when Collins admitted to falsifying evidence. Years following their release, both men worked together at Café Mosaic, a coffee shop and community development program in Benton Harbor. Now Collins works as a staff associate for Young Life Southwest Michigan. McGee serves as a mentor to Benton Harbor youth. They speak together regularly at schools, universities, prisons, churches and civic organizations. They received the 2018 Christopher Award for Convicted, and their story has been featured on “Megyn Kelly Today,” “CBS Evening News” and the “Steve Harvey Show.” Both men live in Michigan.
 
Mark Tabb is the New York Times best-selling collaborator and author of more than 30 books including Mistaken Identity, Running for My Life and Truth Doesn’t Have a Side.
 
PRAISE FOR CONVICTED

“By all accounts, Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins should be hardened, bitter enemies. But their story demonstrates in a powerful way how God can bring beauty out of brokenness. Convicted is a gripping true story that you don’t want to miss.”
—Jim Daly, President – Focus on the Family

 “What an amazing story of the work the Holy Spirit can do in our lives when we allow him and the power of forgiveness to heal all wounds!”
—Daniel Muir, former NFL player with the Indianapolis Colts and other teams

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