New York - NYPD Commissioner Bratton Says Criminal Records Create Difficulty In Hiring Non-White Officers

Published on: June 9th, 2015 at 09:12 PM

New York – Police Commissioner Bill Bratton in an interview with The Guardian stated that it is difficult to hire non-white police officers because of the high rate of criminal records among black and Hispanic men.

Police departments across the nation are trying to diversify their departments after widespread national killings of black men by white police officers, but according to Bratton, tactics such as “stop, question and frisk,” are to blame for a small pool of possible non-white recruits for the police department, reports The Guardian ( ).

A complete criminal background check is part of the application process to join the NYPD. The NYPD immediately disqualifies convicted felons, anyone convicted of a domestic violence charge or anyone dishonorably discharged from the military as applicants.

Summonses do not automatically disqualify a candidate, but they are taken into account during one’s application process. Repeated convictions for an offense such as disorderly conduct – a crime that shows disrespect for the law – could disqualify a candidate.

“Stop, question and frisk” incidents resulted in many summonses for non-white men for minor offenses.

The policy was removed in 2013 by a federal judge, who referred to the policy as “racial profiling.”

Rochelle Bilal, vice-chair of the National Black Police Association and a former Philadelphia police officer, says Bratton now has to deal with the problem he created.

And although the stop-and-frisk policy has significantly diminished since 2013, Bratton believes broken windows policing – the strategy of enforcing low-level crimes to stop offenders from committing serious ones in the future – is essential  to keep New York City safe, despite no proof that broken-window policing has any connection to New York’s drop in major crimes.

An Associated Press analysis based on census data and 2007 figures shows that 23 percent of New York’s population is black compared to 16 percent of the NYPD.

A July 2014 study published by the Vera Institute of Justice of prosecutions of the Manhattan district attorney’s office shows that black defendants were 15 percent more likely than white defendants to be jailed for misdemeanor offenses and drug offenses, and 14 percent more likely than white equivalents to be imprisoned for felony drug offenses.

Information taken from The Guardian

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