Racial tensions exist outside and inside of the police force


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In the wake of the recent turmoil that has engulfed the nation following the deaths of Ferguson, MO teen Michael Brown, Staten Island man Eric Garner, and several other cases of deaths at the hands of police, the topic of racial profiling and police brutality is at the forefront. Issues further intensified following the shooting death of 2 NYPD officers in Brooklyn back in December.

With this being such a hot button issue, Huffington Post conducted interviews with 25 black male NYPD officers, 10 of whom are still on the force and 15 who are retired. The results were unanimous, with the officers claiming that they have been subject to racial profiling and police brutality while out of uniform from white NYPD officers. The officers shared stories ranging from having guns brandished in their faces, experiencing stop and frisk, being pulled over for no reason and having their heads slammed against cars.

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Retired sergeant from the 41st precinct in the Bronx, Desmond Blaize, shared a story of being stopped by police while jogging.

“I had my ID on me so it didn’t escalate, but what’s suspicious about a jogger? In jogging clothes?”

All of the officers who were interviewed stated that they were only harassed or abused by white officers. A portion of them indicated that they made formal complaints to their supervisors, but the complaints were disregarded and they faced retaliation by being denied overtime, promotions, and other benefits. The other officers claim that they refrained from making complaints for fear of the same retribution or worse.

Delores Jones-Brown, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, conducted a study and discovered that in the past 15 years, minority officers had the highest number of fatalities when dealing with white officers who assumed they were criminals. The numbers become even more staggering when it was revealed that misconduct claims against the NYPD has risen 214% since the year 2000.

When speaking on the death of unarmed black men at the hands of the police, the officers were all in agreement that the vast majority of cases could have been resolved without the use of deadly force, per police training.

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