‘Multicultural’ guide offers cops communication tips

cop
Credit: Metro File Photo.

The NYPD disseminates a manual throughout the department called “Policing a Multicultural Society,” apparently with the aim of increasing cultural sensitivity within the city’s police force, the New York Times reported.

City lawyers in the recent stop-and-frisk lawsuit reportedly pointed to the manual as evidence that the department is conscientious with regard to diversity.

“Beckoning people to come to you by holding your palms up, for example, may be seen as obscene among Latin Americans,” is one tidbit of advice the manual offers. “Probably it is best for police officers to avoid using hand gestures until they have acquainted themselves with what they mean to the community members whom they serve.”

The manual notes that Africans shake hands “through a light touch of the palms,” and that using children as interpreters is tricky, even though youths often speak English better than their immigrant parents: it is best to direct questions “to the male of the household, even if children are serving as interpreters,” the manual advises.

Some of the advice seems intended to assure officers that behaviors that may alarm them could have cultural explanations, such as the notice to “be aware that newly arrived Arab-Americans may get out of their car when stopped by a police officer as a gesture of courtesy.”

In other instances, cops are cautioned to not take suspicious or antagonistic behavior personally, especially with people who come from countries where law enforcement was probably frightening and corrupt: ”In such places, people learn early that there is little to gain and much to lose by trusting the police or by telling them the truth. No matter how friendly, trustworthy, and helpful we may try to be, habits and traditions learned during a lifetime of oppression do not die easily.”

It continues with advice to make an effort to assuage the fears of people from such places.

“Your interactions with immigrants from countries like Haiti, Cambodia, El Salvador, and Guatemala will go more smoothly if you take the time to assure them that you will not hurt them,” the manual advises.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information reportedly told the New York Times that the manual’s advice, and the cultural observations therein, are “consistent with the literature and texts utilized by universities.”

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Television

9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3…

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing:…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…