New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton said he’d like to hire more black officers, but it’s hard to find ones who meet the requirements – so many have jail records, he said.
“We have a significant population gap among African American males because so many of them have spent time in jail,” Bratton said, to the Guardian. “As such, we can’t hire them.”
Bratton repeated the remarks to New York Daily News, saying they weren’t controversial but rather based solely on facts and figures.
“It’s an unfortunate fact that in the male black population, a very significant percentage of them – more so than whites and other minority candidates, because of convictions, prison records – are never going to be hired by a police department,” he said. “That’s a reality. That’s not a byproduct of stop and frisk.”
Bratton also said an estimated 15 to 20 percent of black males possess criminal histories, and several police departments around the nation face the same hiring challenge, the Daily Mail said.
“The issue of trying to hire blacks is a national issue,” he said. “Every police department in America is having a hard time hiring blacks.”
Politically, Bratton’s statements conflict with those put out by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
De Blasio’s frequently stated view about blacks and other minorities to the city’s police force is this: “[We're] committed to recruiting officers that reflect New York City’s diversity,” a spokesman for his office said, the Daily Mail reported.