An eye-opening study reveals that several African-American NYPD officers say they've fallen victim to racial profiling while off-duty.
Reuters spoke to 25 male officers, the majority of whom said they had been subjected to harassment at the hands of fellow officers:
Reuters interviewed 25 African American male officers on the NYPD, 15 of whom are retired and 10 of whom are still serving. All but one said that, when off duty and out of uniform, they had been victims of racial profiling, which refers to using race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed a crime.
The officers said this included being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.
Desmond Blaize, who retired two years ago as a sergeant in the 41st Precinct in the Bronx, said he once got stopped while taking a jog through Brooklyn’s upmarket Prospect Park. I had my ID on me so it didn’t escalate, said Blaize, who has sued the department alleging he was racially harassed on the job. But what’s suspicious about a jogger? In jogging clothes?
What's more, the black officers who spoke to Reuters said they were profiled exclusively by their white counterparts. Roughly a third complained to supervisors, and, at best, the claims were disregarded:
All but one said their supervisors either dismissed the complaints or retaliated against them by denying them overtime, choice assignments, or promotions. The remaining officers who made no complaints said they refrained from doing so either because they feared retribution or because they saw racial profiling as part of the system.
Reuters notes, unsurprisingly, that the police department declined to comment on a data-supported racial analysis of the complaints and how they were addressed.