‘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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.