Raymond’s Journey from Poverty to Law Enforcement Officer

Raymond’s journey from poverty to becoming a law enforcement officer is a remarkable story of determination and resilience. Growing up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Vero Beach, Florida, Raymond witnessed the violence and fighting that plagued his home, with his parents even stabbing each other. However, after the police came to his house, Raymond made a life-changing decision to pursue a career in law enforcement. He excelled in sports in school, earning a scholarship to Missouri Southern State University, where he met his wife. Despite facing numerous challenges and experiencing corruption within his department, Raymond never lost his passion for justice and continued to fight for what he believed in. His wrongful conviction, subsequent acquittal, and ongoing advocacy for criminal justice reform are a testament to his unwavering perseverance. Raymond’s dedication to making a difference in his community has led him to receive recognition and awards for his impactful work, all while standing strong in his faith and keeping his love for law enforcement alive.

Raymonds Journey from Poverty to Law Enforcement Officer

Table of Contents

Childhood and Early Life

Growing up in a poor neighborhood in Vero Beach, Florida

You grew up in a tough neighborhood in Vero Beach, Florida. The area was known for its poverty and challenging living conditions. Despite the difficult circumstances, you always had a desire for a different lifestyle and dreamed of breaking free from the cycle of poverty that surrounded you.

Parents working as migrant workers and at a packing house

Your parents worked hard to make ends meet. Your mother was a migrant worker, and your father worked at a packing house. They struggled to make a decent living, earning only about a dollar an hour. It was a constant battle to provide for the family and make sure everyone had enough to eat.

Violence and fighting in his home

Growing up, there was a lot of violence and fighting in your home. Your parents’ relationship was tumultuous, and their fights sometimes turned physical. There were instances of stabbing and shooting, leaving you exposed to a volatile and unsafe environment.

Inspiration to Join Law Enforcement

Decision to become a law enforcement officer after police intervention

A pivotal moment in your life occurred when the police came to your home after one particularly violent incident. It was during this encounter that you made the decision to become a law enforcement officer. The way the police handled the situation and helped to defuse the violence made a lasting impact on you, and you wanted to make a similar difference in the lives of others.

Excelled in sports and received a scholarship to Missouri Southern State University

In pursuit of a better life, you excelled in sports throughout your school years. You were a standout athlete in football, basketball, and track. Your talent and hard work paid off when you received a scholarship to Missouri Southern State University. This opportunity provided you with a chance to escape your troubled past and focus on building a brighter future.

Meeting His Wife and Starting a Family

Meeting his wife in college

Your time at college was not only about academics and sports; it was also where you met the love of your life. You crossed paths with your future wife, and it was a meeting that would change both of your lives forever.

Becoming pregnant to avoid being stationed in Scotland

While attending college, your wife became pregnant. This unexpected development had a significant impact on your life. It was a turning point that altered your plans and ultimately affected the trajectory of your career in law enforcement. The pregnancy became a factor in determining your future postings and led to a change in your assignments.

Career in Law Enforcement

Working as a detention officer

After completing your college education, you embarked on your career in law enforcement. You started as a detention officer, responsible for overseeing individuals held in custody. This role allowed you to gain valuable experience and lay the foundation for your future in serving and protecting the community.

finding your soulmate audiobook

Becoming a drill instructor

Your dedication and commitment to your work paid off, and you were promoted to the position of a drill instructor. In this role, you trained and mentored aspiring law enforcement officers, imparting your knowledge and skills to the next generation.

Witnessing corruption in the department

Throughout your career, you witnessed disturbing instances of corruption within the law enforcement department. This included the planting of drugs on suspects and the stealing of money. These experiences deeply troubled you, as they contradicted the ideals and principles you held dear as a law enforcement officer.

Raymonds Journey from Poverty to Law Enforcement Officer

False Accusations and Prison Time

Arrested and falsely accused of drug trafficking, money laundering, and sharing confidential information

In a shocking turn of events, you were unjustly arrested and falsely accused of serious crimes, including drug trafficking, money laundering, and sharing confidential law enforcement information. The charges were completely baseless and unfounded, but they had a devastating impact on your life and reputation.

Years spent in prison fighting the charges and subsequent acquittal

You spent several years in prison, fighting tirelessly to prove your innocence. The ordeal took an immense toll on you and your family, but your determination never wavered. Eventually, the truth prevailed, and you were acquitted by a jury in 2001. The experience was both grueling and eye-opening, revealing the flaws and injustices within the criminal justice system.

Financial Struggles and Advocacy for Justice

Facing financial difficulties and home foreclosure

Despite your acquittal, the aftermath of your wrongful conviction was immensely challenging. You faced financial difficulties and even had your home foreclosed. The weight of these financial burdens added to the emotional toll of your journey, making it even more difficult to rebuild your life.

Filing complaints against the police department

Determined to seek justice and hold accountable those responsible for your wrongful conviction, you filed complaints against the police department. You refused to let their corruption and false accusations go unchecked and were determined to shine a light on the injustices you had experienced.

Finding a lawyer to expunge the case and obtain compensation

With the help of a dedicated lawyer, you were able to expunge the false charges from your record and finally seek compensation for the damages and loss you endured. This was a small victory in a long and arduous battle, but it provided a sense of closure and vindication.

Raymonds Journey from Poverty to Law Enforcement Officer

Advocacy for Criminal Justice Reform

Working to advocate for criminal justice reform

Your experiences within the criminal justice system fueled your passion for advocating for reform. You dedicated yourself to improving the system, aiming to prevent others from enduring the same injustices you faced. Through speaking engagements and activism, you raised awareness and fought for change.

Speaking out against police corruption

One of the key issues you focused on was police corruption. Drawing from your own personal encounters with corrupt law enforcement officers, you used your platform to shed light on the pervasive issue. By speaking out and sharing your story, you hoped to inspire change and accountability within police departments.

Recognition for Community Impact

Receiving an award from Mr. Jim Moran for making a difference in the community

Your unwavering commitment to making a difference did not go unnoticed. You were honored and recognized for your community impact when Mr. Jim Moran, a renowned philanthropist and Southeast Toyota distributor, presented you with an award. This acknowledgement served as validation for your tireless efforts to improve the lives of others.

Award specifically given to Black individuals

It is important to note that the award you received was specifically given to Black individuals. This recognition highlighted the unique challenges you faced as a person of color within the criminal justice system and underscored the significance of your achievements.

Personal Struggles and Resilience

Encountering personal and financial hardships

While your journey in law enforcement and advocacy had its triumphs, you also faced numerous personal and financial hardships along the way. Life threw many challenges your way, but you remained resilient in the face of adversity and never lost sight of your goals.

Finding employment in construction and becoming a bodyguard

During difficult times, you found employment in the construction industry to make ends meet. You also took on the role of a bodyguard, using your unique skills and experience to protect others. These diverse experiences allowed you to grow both personally and professionally.

Experiences with discrimination and harassment from law enforcement agencies

As someone who had experienced and witnessed injustice within law enforcement, you sadly also encountered discrimination and harassment from other law enforcement agencies. This harsh reality further highlighted the urgent need for reform and fair treatment within the system.

Reaching out for help but receiving little assistance

In moments of struggle, you reached out for help. However, the support you received was limited, and many officials, politicians, and even churches failed to offer the assistance you desperately needed. Despite these setbacks, you remained determined and resilient, never giving up on your mission.


Reflection on the journey from poverty to law enforcement officer

Looking back on your life’s journey, the path from poverty to law enforcement officer has been filled with obstacles and triumphs. The struggles you faced growing up shaped your character and fueled your desire to make a difference.

Appreciation for the success of children

Throughout your journey, you took pride in the success of your children. Their achievements served as a testament to your hard work and perseverance, and you found joy in seeing them thrive in their respective careers.

finding love and longdistance relationships

Faith in humanity and importance of a higher being

In the face of adversity, your unwavering faith in humanity and belief in a higher being has been a source of strength. Through all the ups and downs, you held onto the notion that there are good people in the world who will come to your aid and support your cause.

Writing a book about experiences titled ‘I’m Still Standing’

To share your story and inspire others, you have written a book titled “I’m Still Standing.” In this book, you narrate your experiences, highlighting not only the injustices you faced but also the resilience and determination that carried you through.

Despite everything you have endured, you continue to fight for justice, advocate for criminal justice reform, and make a lasting impact on your community. Your journey serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

During his journey from poverty to becoming a Law Enforcement Officer, Raymond Hicks, a former Broward County sheriff’s deputy, faced the unjust accusation of drug smuggling. You can watch Raymond’s interview and see his portrait on the Soft White Underbelly website. If you wish to support Raymond, you can contribute to his GoFundMe campaign through this link: Raymond’s GoFundMe campaign.

Additionally, there is another GoFundMe campaign dedicated to helping individuals who have been featured in SWU interviews. If you would like to assist them, you can visit this link: GoFundMe campaign to help SWU interviewees.

For an uninterrupted viewing experience without any ads and access to exclusive content, you can subscribe to the Soft White Underbelly subscription channel. It is available for $10 a month and can be accessed through Apple and Android mobile apps, Roku TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. To subscribe, please visit: Soft White Underbelly subscription channel.

long distance love audiobook