Police Commissioner Bill Bratton now says he will lift the number of black cops on the job after getting into hot water for telling the Guardian that there are so few black cops in the NYPD “because so many of them have spent time in jail.”
He told radio station AM-970 he expects to see double the number of black enrollees in the Police Academy over the next year and that he fully intends to make sure they have the proper support to see through the process.
“We are really committed to increasing minority representation — not just blacks, women,” said Bratton, reports the Daily News.
The numbers of black men in the current academy class is abysmally low.
BY THE NUMBERS
“We just need to do a better job of keeping (African-Americans) in the process, and working harder to recruit them into the process," he continued. "And I’m comfortable we can do that.”
Bratton was under scrunity after making cringeworthy comments to the Guardian in an article published on Tuesday.
“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,” he told the newspaper. Bratton has since backtracked and said his remarks were taken out of context.
The New York City Police Department won’t look at an applicant for police work if he or she has a felony criminal record.
Bratton complicated the entire mess by acknowledging that part of the reason “so many” have been in jail is because of the “unfortunate consequences” of an explosion in “stop, question and frisk” arrests on minor infractions.
He insisted on NY1 Wednesday night that summonses and misdemeanors don't disqualify job appplicants from being hired -- only felonies -- but admitted the policy may have turned young men of color off to considering a law enforcement career.
Bratton's critics are demanding that he fix the problems caused by Stop and Frisk, which has been shown to disproportionately target men of color, giving them summonses for misdemeanors. Some of them are minor offenses that City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is fighting to decriminalize.
“This is a teachable moment that affirms that 'broken windows' policing destroys lives and opportunities,” says Public Advocate Letitia James.