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NYPD Commissioner Says It's Hard To Hire Black Cops, Too Many Have Criminal History
It’s hard for the NYPD to hire black officers because too many have spent time in jail — in part because of the department’s own stop-and-frisk policy, the city’s top cop said Tuesday.
NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton said it’s a challenge to find hireable blacks because so many African-American men have criminal records.
“We have a significant population gap among African-American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can't hire them,” Bratton said in an interview with the Guardian, a British newspaper.
At least part of the blame fell to the NYPD and its use of “stop-and-frisk,” Bratton continued.
He said there were “unfortunate consequences (to) stop, question and frisk” policies that were applied most heavily among communities of color.
Many of the stops resulted in young men of color getting summonses for misdemeanors, the Guardian wrote.
A high-ranking police source said Bratton’s comments were taken out of context but declined to elaborate further.
An email to the Guardian was not immediately returned.
Because the NYPD requires a complete criminal background check for new hires, many black candidates got wiped out because of their histories, Bratton said.
The NYPD automatically disqualifies convicted felons, those with domestic violence charges and those with dishonorable miiltary discharges.
A summons is not an automatic disqualifier — but it is taken into account during the application process.
Judge Shira Scheindlin in 2013 put an end to the controversial “stop-and-frisk” police tactic that was a hallmark of the broken-windows approach to policing — developed by Bratton himself under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Scheindlin said the policy caused “indirect racial profiling.”
Officers regularly stopped “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white,” Scheindlin said.
Bratton told the Guardian he is still a believer in broken-window policing, which advocates targeting small, quality-of-life crimes to prevent an increase in overall lawlessness.
“We will continue our focus on crime and disorder,” Bratton said in the May 20 interview with the Guardian.
“I make no apologies for doing that.”
In the wake of several high-profile deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white policers in Ferguson, Staten Island, North Charleston, and Baltimore, many police departments across the country have tried to boost their diversity.
The NYPD is comparatively diverse when compared to other departments nationwide — many of which are majority white in communities where African-Americans make up the largest population.
According to an a.ssociated Press analysis done last summer, the NYPD is 16% black in a city that’s 23% black.
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