In an interview, Chief William Bratton implied there just aren’t enough respectable Blacks who would pass muster under the NYPD’s pre-employment background check requirements, and he credits his broken windows policing success. Isn’t that convenient?
The 2013 census estimate for New York City as a whole was 8,405,837. Blacks comprise slightly over 25% of that number.
According to the website Black Demographics, of 2.2 million New York City Black residents over the age of 25, at least 14% had a college degree in 2011.
Surely, since 2011, many more have been accepted into community colleges and four-year institutions of higher learning?
Can’t the NYPD not make an effort to, as do many large corporations, recruit some of these students during any one or two of the many career days all universities hold many times over the course of the year? How about sponsoring high school graduates who are interested in a career in law? Working with Black fraternities in an effort to spread the word that Blacks are welcome? I am quite sure there are many other strategies to attract quality applicants.
Is Chief Bratton so arrogant as to not be aware how insulting it is to our collective intelligence to be told that New York City just doesn’t have any Blacks who are good enough for his police force? Doesn’t he know how easy it is to look up statistics? Does it really make sense to him? Even with the inordinately high arrest and conviction rate of residents of color in New York City, it is highly unlikely that 100% of those who are college-eligible would never consider applying for a job with the NYPD, or are unemployable by NYPD standards. Even more unlikely and most insulting is the notion that a community of millions has been completely tainted. The way things are these days, it would make more sense if the reason for this “problem” is that the NYPD simply doesn’t want to hire more Blacks or that Blacks just don’t want to work there.
As for the large number of those who might have wanted to work as police officers in their own communities but can’t because of false arrests and excessive policing, Judge Scheindlin was absolutely correct in her ruling. It should be reinstated and millions of New York City’s Blacks should have their records expunged.
What is one to make of such statements from Bratton, especially after this one, barely a week ago:
“Immediately they started Twittering, you know, ‘Cops kill another black man again,’” Bratton said during the interview with 970 AM’s John Gambling. “We are dealing with that where anybody with a thumb can try to rule the airwaves. And it takes a lot of work to push back. That’s why we have a very active social media, why we were very quick to put out the video.”
Bringing William Bratton back to head the NYPD was a huge mistake on the part of Bill de Blasio. As much as he may lament racism and its terrible legacy, Bratton has no respect for Black people. Bratton really needs to go.
Update: June 10, 2015
Newsday reports on Chief Bratton’s reaction to the Guardian news item below:
“My comment on stop, question and frisk impacting on recruiting was the potential alienation of black men, minority men, because of frequent stops by police,” Bratton said. “But stop, question and frisk stops have no impact in terms of the screening process we do on hiring.”
Then, as Newsday points out:
“As he has stated in the past, Bratton said Tuesday night it still was an “unfortunate fact” that in the black male community, a significant percentage of people are never going to be hired by a police department because of their prison records.”
His clarification of his quote as reported by the Guardian, a matter of semantics, changes nothing for me. The fact that the impact of Stop and Frisk is even something he thinks about when he analyzes the reasons why so few Blacks are hired by the NYPD is the problem. Bringing it up, and he did, while saying nothing else, leaves a bad impression. That he now verbalizes it is completely beside the point and begs the question why, then, only 8% of police recruits are Black? With the number of Blacks who graduate from high school and go on to higher education, there should be more who can be recruited but yet are deemed unfit. Bratton uses the age old racist tactic of injuring and then blaming the victim for his wounds.
Tuesday June 9, 2015
Hiring more non-white officers is difficult because so many would-be recruits have criminal records, the New York police commissioner, Bill Bratton, has said.
“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.
Police departments, responding to widespread protests against several high-profile police killings of black men, are boosting efforts to recruit more non-white officers. But budget restrictions, strained relations between police and minority communities and, according to Bratton, a history of indiscriminate policing tactics that disproportionately target black and Latino men complicate the department’s goal of racial parity.
Bratton blamed the “unfortunate consequences” of an explosion in “stop, question and frisk” incidents that caught many young men of color in the net by resulting in them being given a summons for a minor misdemeanor. As a result, Bratton said, the “population pool [of eligible non-white officers] is much smaller than it might ordinarily have been”.
Curated from The Guardian.