African policeman giving woman ticket

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With the many incidents of police using excessive force against African Americans, especially African American men, cities across the US are stepping up their recruitment of minority officers. In New York city, where there have been several such incidents, the police commissioner has been quoted as saying that it’s difficult recruiting African American officers because so many Black men have spent time in jail, making them ineligible.

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Needless to say, this statement from NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, is not exactly popular with everyone! In an interview published in The Guardian, Bratton 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 does acknowledge that some police tactics, such as “stop and frisk” may have a hand in creating the situation, by disproportionately affecting Black and Latino men. Budgetary restrictions also affect how many new officers can be hired.

Further, Bratton is a believer in what’s been termed “broken windows” policing, the practice of strictly enforcing laws against minor offenses, in the hope that this will prevent would-be criminals from “graduating” to more serious crimes. He is, however, against stopping or altering this policy. Bratton told The Guardian “We will continue our focus on crime and disorder,” . “I make no apologies for doing that.” Looks like it will remain difficult to recruit nonwhite officers in NYC, at least as long Bill Bratton’s in charge!

Jerry Wells

from an article in The Guardian

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