Speed Reads

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NYPD chief: It's hard to hire black men because 'so many have spent time in jail'

In an interview with The Guardian, New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that the NYPD has "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 noted that the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk meant that the "population pool [of eligible non-white officers] is much smaller than it might ordinarily have been." But while Bratton has overseen the drawdown of the controversial and racially biased program, critics argue that his continued embrace of broken windows policing makes him at least partially responsible for his current predicament. "If [Bratton] didn't stop people for nothing, he might have a bigger pool to hire from," said Rochelle Bilal of the National Black Police Association.

Though the NYPD's demographics now nearly mirror the broader NYC population, the department's leadership is still overwhelmingly white.