‘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

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…