NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has claimed it is hard to hire more black cops because ‘so many of them’ have spent time in jail. ‘We have a significant population gap among African American males because so many of them have spent time in jail,’ he told The Guardian. ‘And, as such, we can’t hire them.’
‘It’s an unfortunate fact that in the male black population, a very significant percentage of them, more so than whites and other minority candidates, because of convictions, prison records, are never going to be hired by a police department,’ he said, according to the New York Daily News. ‘That’s a reality,’ he said.
‘That’s not a byproduct of stop and frisk.’ He’s referring to the policy which allowed police to question and potentially search someone if they had so-called ‘reasonable suspicion’ that person was committing an offense. That policy was ruled unconstitutional in August 2013.
Commissioner Bratton, according to the article, said stop and frisk had ‘unfortunate consequences’ resulting in a number of young black men receiving summons for minor misdemeanors. ‘Fifteen to 20 percent of black males have some type of criminal history and that’s an issue of great concern in the black community.
But, the NYPD commissioner claimed, many summonses that resulted from stop and frisk aren’t considered during the officer hiring process. The issue of trying to hire blacks is a national issue,’ he said. ‘Every police department in America is having a hard time hiring blacks.’
Summonses do not automatically disqualify police candidates, but they are taken into account during the application process and repeated convictions could result in disqualification. Convicted felons, dishonorable discharges from the military and any applicant found guilty of domestic violence are automatically disqualified.