Racial Profiling

New NYPD Training Urges Officers to Avoid Racial Profiling and Comments Like 'He's Irish, but I've Never Seen Him Drunk'

Training materials also suggest that imitating the speech patterns of other races or ethnicities may "appear disingenuous and possibly racist."

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shooting Brooklyn/Flickr

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) isn't exactly known for cultural sensitivity. But the department has a bold new plan to curb racial and ethnic bias among its officers: Show them some Powerpoint slides. If a federal judge approves, the new NYPD training materials will instruct cadets "not to engage in racial profiling," not to "use terms or words that devalue groups of people," and not to tell "ethnic, racial, or sexist jokes." 

Surely, it's only a matter of time now before bigotry in the NYPD ranks is eradicated. 

And there's more: the training materials will instruct cadets "not to imitate speech patterns of other racial, ethnic and class groups when communicating cross culturally" because doing so may "appear disingenuous, artificial, and possibly racist." They also note that racial profiling is against the law, against NYPD policy, and a violation of "fundamental democratic precepts and freedoms." 

It is offensive. It violates your responsibility to treat people equally. It diverts us from catching real criminals. It alienates us from people who need us, and hurts our ability to do our job. You can probably think of other reasons not to do it, but the point is that you will not do it.

While simply ordering people to be open-minded seems unlikely to work, it's interesting to note that 1) cops imitating the speech patterns of people from other races or cultures is a significant enough problem to warrant specific instruction and 2) avoiding racial profiling is a novel concept for the NYPD.

Until 2013, when a federal judge declared the NYPD's "stop and frisk" program unconstitutional, racial profiling was basically official departmental practice. An analysis from the New York Civil Liberties Union showed 86 percent of those deemed "suspicious" enough to stop and frisk were black of Hispanic individuals. The vast majority of stop-and-frisk cases (88 percent) turned up no evidence of any crime.

Another new NYPD training tip: "Avoid expressing stereotypical assumptions that spotlight minorities or other groups, or that set them apart from others." For example, it suggests, would-be officers should avoid saying things like, "for a woman cop, she did a good job," "he's Latino, but he works hard," "she's black, but she really knows her stuff," "he's gay, but he'll leave you alone," "he's Colombian but not involved with drugs," "she's Italian, but I don't think her family has any mob connections," and "he's Irish, but I've never seen him drunk." 

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  1. not to tell “ethnic, racial, or sexist jokes.”

    Only on the job, right?

    1. I’ll have a Coke!

    2. not to tell “ethnic, racial, or sexist jokes.”
      Is there any other kind?

      1. So a panda walks into a bar…

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  2. “He’s a cop, but I’ve never seen him take a bribe / beat the shit out of someone who didn’t deserve it / eat a donut / shoot an innocent person…”

    1. +1 Don’t get caught in a stereotypical situation.

    2. “…falsify an affidavit.”

    3. “…lie.”

  3. OK, pretty hokey, but what’s the alternative? Props for at least admitting there is a problem.

    1. Yeah, shared more for folks’ amusement than out of some sort of strong condemnation

      1. Ah c’mon, you can admit you were stereotyping cops, we’re all adults here.

    2. “Sevo’s old, but I’ve never seen him with an oatmeal spoon”.

      1. Get off my…
        Aw, the hell with it!

    3. When you hire ‘rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, train robbers, shit kickers and Methodists’,

      You’ve got to be a little extra careful on the instructions you give them.

      1. +1 for Hedley Lamarr

        1. You said rape twice.

      2. Could you repeat that?

  4. Norwegian, huh? I’ve been looking for someone who could tell me why my lutefisk won’t gel.

    1. Luftputeb?ten min er full av ?l.

    2. Du trenger min spesiell saus.

  5. Yeah, he’s from a cop family, but its not Irish welfare in his case.

  6. “she’s Italian, but I don’t think her family has any mob connections,” and “he’s Irish, but I’ve never seen him drunk.”

    But these two are valid!

      1. That’s hilarious given that the Irish were forced to come over here due to horrible oppression back in Ireland. Even if they weren’t oppressed in that particular way, most of them arrived here with absolutely nothing because of how they’d been mistreated by the English.

        That doesn’t count though.

  7. 86 percent of those deemed “suspicious” enough to stop and frisk were black of Hispanic individuals.

    “black of Hispanic individuals”….like the opposite of White Hispanic?

  8. Personally, the term I would like all LEO’s to stop using, especially in training is “Bad Guy”. Yes, there are real “Bad Guys” out there. But, the LEO’s seem to affix that label to any and all suspects regardless of the nature of their suspected crime. Abusing a “bad guy” is a lot easier than abusing a citizen. And, I suspect that there are LEO’s out there who think it’s their duty to abuse the “bad guys”.

    1. In a caste system, everyone in a lower caste than you is a “bad guy”.

  9. Alternate alt text:

    ‘Tryouts for the Village People’

  10. Training materials also suggest that imitating the speech patterns of other races or ethnicities may “appear disingenuous and possibly racist.”

    The first thing that comes to mind is the police officers on “Sanford & Son”.

    1. Tell that to every Democratic presidential candidate in recent memory while campaigning in the south.

  11. “‘He’s Irish, but I’ve Never Seen Him Drunk'”

    Oh come on. If he’s Irish you’ve seen him drunk, his tolerance is just too high for your to notice.

    1. He’s always drunk, that’s how he hides it.

  12. The racial profiling claim is very weak. The New York Civil Liberties Union’s claims that New York City engaged in racial profiling are based on false premises, and the idea has never been accepted by the Second Circuit, which would have rejected it on the merits had the current liberal mayor, DeBlasio, not acquiesced in the allegation.

    Many categories of crime in New York ? not victimless crime, but real crimes based on victim reporting ? are committed well over 90% of the time by blacks or Hispanics, so this statistic is not proof of anything:

    “An analysis from the New York Civil Liberties Union showed 86 percent of those deemed ‘suspicious’ enough to stop and frisk were black of Hispanic individuals.”

    In fact, Heather Mac Donald has cited categories of crime in New York City (like teenage homicides) where something like 97 percent of the time the offense in question is committed by blacks or Hispanics: “In 1998, blacks in New York City were 13 times more likely than whites to commit a violent assault, according to victim reports.”

    The assumption that crimes are committed in proportion to population percentages contradicts the Supreme Court’s ruling in U.S. v. Armstrong (1996). It rejected the “presumption that people of all races commit all types of crimes” at the same rate, which is “contradicted by” reality. Blacks, who are only 13 percent of the population (according to the Census Bureau), commit nearly half of all murders (according to FBI data).

    1. American? Is that you? Suck that cop dick, buddy!

      1. You’re asking if Hans Bader, who always posts as his real name, is someone else?

    2. Racial profiling doesn’t occur when a crime has already been committed, it occurs before any crime has been committed and in the absence of any obvious evidence of a crime. Policies like stop-and-frisk have nothing to do with prevention of “real crimes.”

      You just spent 4 paragraphs listing quotes and statistics that have no bearing on the point you are trying to make. But I’ll give you this, a wall of unrelated statistics does look mighty official if you don’t actually read them. I am betting that’s what you are banking on.

  13. Now, shut up and get in the Hibernian-American wagon!

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