Hiring black officers difficult as “so many have spent time in jail”, says NYPD Chief

Hiring black officers difficult as “so many have spent time in jail”, says NYPD Chief

Bill Bratton, the New York Police Commissioner, has said that it is difficult to hire black males because so many have criminal records.

Police departments across America are trying to boost the number of black male officers, partly due to a number of high-profile accusations of racism that have stemmed from killings and violence towards ethnic minorities.

However, in an interview with The Guardian, Bratton has said that this is difficult. “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.”

NYPD applicants are subjected to a complete criminal background check, and those that have been convicted of a crime are automatically disqualified.

Another contributing factor to the low number of black officers is due to a strained relationship of distrust between the police and ethnic minorities. Critics have suggested that the controversial stop-and-frisk policy – said to result in racial profiling – is partly to blame.

Rochelle Bilal, Vice-Chair of the National Black Police Association and former Police Officer, says: “It is a net that [Bratton] set out for them. If he didn’t stop people for nothing, he might have a bigger pool to hire from.”

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Comments (4)

  • Harry
    Harry@ Jon
    Thu, 11 Jun 2015 1:08pm BST
    I think the point being made is that white people are probably involved in illegal activity (possession of drugs etc) as frequently as black people. Black people get caught more, though, because of the in-built prejudice of the policing system.
  • Robyn
    Wed, 10 Jun 2015 1:03pm BST
    Let's take a closer look at the statistical data of whose stopped, given a ticking off / warning and whose immediately arrested finger printed, charged, taken to court and subsequently end up with a criminal record.
    Reasons are seldom black and White (excuse the pun) but are multi faceted.
  • Jon
    Wed, 10 Jun 2015 12:43pm BST
    Regarding the quote from Rochelle Bilal...surely this doesn't make sense? You can't say it's unfair that too many people are going to jail because you're searching too many of them...don't break the law and don't go to jail!
  • Harriet
    Wed, 10 Jun 2015 12:35pm BST
    The NYC police department needs to examine their stop, arrest and conviction policy.
    Their recruitment problem is multi faceted and it is far too simplistic to say ' so many have criminal records'.
    Questions to consider:
    1. Why is that the case?
    2. Why are some ethnic groups simply cautioned and others immediately taken to court and end up with criminal records? Resulting in a vicious circle of crime as so many end up unemployed because they can never get a decent job.
    If the state wishes to address this fulfilling prophecy lets go back to the beginning.
    Rather than simply stating 'it's not me, it's them'

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