They might all be part of the thin blue line while on the clock, but Black officers worry about their own well-being when they’re off-duty.
After speaking to 25 African-American male cops that work in the NYPD, Reuters reports that all but one of them had been racially profiled while not in uniform. The incidents ranged from uncalled for traffic stops and being frisked while shopping to having their heads slammed against cars and being shoved into police vans. Some of the men interview even revealed that they’ve had guns pointed in their faces.
The findings are alarming, but former LAPD police chief Bernard Parks believes it’s all a bunch of hype to get more clicks. “It makes good headlines to say this is occurring, but I don’t think you can validate it until you look into the circumstances they were stopped in.” Bernard, a Black man, told Reuters.
He argues that if the NYPD is guilty of rampant racial profiling, they’ve got the numbers on their side. “If you want to get into the essence of why certain groups are stopped more than others, then you only need to go to the crime reports and see which ethnic groups are listed more as suspects,” Bernard stated. “That’s the crime data the officers are living with.”
According to the numbers, Black offenders made up about 73 percent of the suspects in crimes involving guns.
Of course, lets not forget that stats work both ways! Around a third of the officers Reuters spoke to said they filed complaints with their superiors after their unwarranted run-ins with the law, and the vast majority (all but one) of those reports were totally dismissed. Worse yet, some of the superiors who the officers contacted for help punished the victims in a number of ways, including being denied promotions and overtime. The numbers don’t look good on either side.