Too many black cop candidates have rap sheets: Bratton

By Bob Fredericks
June 9, 2015 | 4:48pm

Bill BrattonPhoto: Getty Images

Adding more black cops to the NYPD would be a lot easier if fewer African-American candidates had rap sheets, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

“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 told the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

And he blamed the NYPD’s stop and frisk policies under his predecessor, ex-Commissioner Ray Kelly, for much of the problem.

The “unfortunate consequences” of “stop, question and frisk” incidents resulted in many black and Latino men getting busted and having criminal records, he said, resulting in the “population pool [of minority candidates] is much smaller than it might ordinarily have been”.

Police departments across the US are looking to make sure their ranks better reflect the demographics of the communities they serve following high-profile police killings of black men by cops in Missouri, South Carolina and on Staten Island.

But Bratton said that budget constraints and poor relations between the NYPD and the city’s minority communities because of aggressive stop and frisk enforcement made that task harder.

Convicted felons, those found guilty of domestic violence and candidates who have been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces are automatically disqualified, according to department policy.

While he has scaled back stop and frisk, the top cop has remained a champion of “broken windows” policing — targeting minor crimes to prevent more serious ones. I make no apologies for doing that, he said, even though critics charge the policy also unfairly targets minority neighborhoods, where most violent crime occurs.