NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton said in an interview with The Guardian that fewer African Americans are hired for the police force because a higher volume of blacks have criminal records.
“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,” Bratton said.
Candidates for the NYPD are disqualified if they’ve been convicted of a crime, found guilty of a domestic violence charge, or have been dishonorably discharged from the military.
“It’s an unfortunate fact that in the male black population, a very significant percentage of them, more so than whites or other minority candidates, because of convictions, prison records, are never going to be hired by a police department. That’s a reality,” said Bratton, in an article with the New York Daily News.
In the original Guardian article, the massive number of summons that originate from stop-and-frisk and “broken windows” policing were flagged as the reason why many African Americans are dismissed from consideration, but Bratton contested that in the Daily News article.
Bratton said the stop-and-frisk summons aren’t considered in hiring considerations. Even in cities where there are no stop-and-frisk policies, it’s difficult to find African American applicants who haven’t been arrested or convicted of a felony.
“The issue of trying to hire blacks is a national issue. Every police department in America is having a hard time hiring blacks,” said Bratton.
Within black communities, 15 to 20 percent of males have been convicted of a crime, said Bratton.
A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Daily News that he “is committed to a diverse police force, and he and the police commissioner are committed to recruiting officers that reflect New York City’s diversity.”