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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