New York’s Police Force Criminalized So Many Blacks, It Struggles for Diverse Hires
Earlier this week, William Bratton, commissioner of New York City’s police department, raised eyebrows by bemoaning the challenge of hiring black police officers. “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 told The Guardian in an interview published on Tuesday. The commissioner then acknowledged this smaller applicant pool is, in part, one of the “unfortunate consequences” of controversial policing strategies such as stopping, frisking, and interrogating people on the street.Studies and lawsuits have found this NYPD strategy disproportionately affects people of color—particularly young black and Latino men.
Roughly 16 percent of the NYPD’s officers are black, while roughly 26 percent of New York City residents are black. Meanwhile, black New York City residents comprise more than half of all street stops and interrogations each year.