He has a great gig, but a big part of Charles Adams wishes he were still a cop.
Adams was the school resource officer at North Community High School, where he also coached (and still coaches) football, but the job ended in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, when police were taken out of schools.
Adams — now the director of team security for the Minnesota Twins — thinks removing a role that could help unite schools, communities and police was a mistake.
"I say it all the time, even here in my new job: If police officers had not been removed from schools, I would not even have thought for one second about working for the Twins," said Adams, by phone from Detroit, where the team was in the middle of losing a series to the Tigers. "I would still be working in the schools."
Adams' new memoir is "Twin Cities." The chapter that's likely to get the most attention is about Floyd, whose murder made Adams "sick to my stomach" when he saw the video on Facebook. Adams writes that what he observed in that interaction and on the force in general "speaks more of a toxic workplace than institutional racism."
In the book, Adams acknowledges there are racist police officers, but writes that he does not believe the force has an abundance of them — "more like a lot of Archie Bunkers" who exhibit not "outright hatred of other races or cultures so much as an enduring refusal to understand them."
Adams loved being an school resource officer, as he details in the book, subtitled "My Life as a Black Cop and a Championship Coach." The memoir grew out of a 2020 interview with the New York Times as well as a 2023 Showtime documentary about his North football team and player Deshaun Hill Jr., whose murder was part of this country's epidemic of gun violence.
The book covers Adams' training and service with the Minneapolis Police Department, the public response to the murder of George Floyd, his relationship with his police officer dad and his philosophy of coaching. His goal for writing the book was simple.
"I really hope that, obviously, young Black males in America read it and also people that are in inner-city communities can see how things that people don't like can change," said Adams. "I really hope people around the world and nation can see how important it is to develop these things in communities: outreach, along with being involved with law enforcement."
Adams began the book around the time of his first spring training with the Twins, in 2021.
"My whole thing was just to tell the story of not only a Black cop after the George Floyd era but just being somebody in the community where I was raised and [have been] a coach and mentor," said Adams, who wrote a draft, then refined it during months of conversations with co-writer Jason Turbow, a well-known baseball author.
Writing the Floyd chapter, revisiting those events, was "triggering," says Adams, because "that could have been me or my family members. That could have been my own kids."
Adams admits he doesn't know if Chauvin is racist.
"In Chauvin's situation, not only do a lot of cops operate on fear because of the neighborhoods and vicinities they work in, one. But, two, his situation was about control," said Adams. "The more people were telling him to get off of George, the more he wanted to show he was the person who was in control."
Adams, who also details the racism and fear he encountered when he was training to be a police officer, still has plenty of friends who are officers. He worries that the city's policing is not improving.
"The hiring practices have not gotten better. It's still who's popular, who you know. We don't have a ton of applicants interested in being in the police department now," said Adams.
The other part of the book's title — a big one, with high school football season having just kicked off — is "championship coach." North teams won the state title in 2016 and were runners-up in 2015 and 2019.
Adams' players have faced bigotry, on and off the field, but he's a big believer in the sport and the philosophy that "you don't have to be a football player to play football." It's a team-first focus that always offers things to teach players and coaches, whether it's incorporating a new formation or responding to adversity.
"I am always learning, when it comes to coaching. It's different each year. You have to adapt to a new culture and new players," said Adams, who is known for tailoring North's playing style to the talents of the athletes.
Football season in Minnesota, which runs from September through November, overlaps a bit with the Twins schedule, but that's not a problem for Adams, whose Twins job guarantees he can be home for football games. It was a condition of him taking the job.
"Oh, no. I'm not on the road during football," Adams said. "The beauty of me having this job is that, once September hits and it's game time, I'm back in town."
By: Charles Adams.
Publisher: Hachette, 288 pages, $29.