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Local Electeds Announce Residency Legislation to Address Racial Intolerance Amongst NYPD

Racist rants on Facebook by NYPD officers spurs Assemblyman Jeffries to action

Racist rants by NYPD officers on a Facebook group page entitled, "No More West Indian Day Detail," has angered Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, and this week, he will introduce state legislation to address it.

Jeffries yesterday held a press conference, joined by Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Council Member Letitia James and Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, along with Caribbean-American and African-American leaders to announce the introduction of a bill that will require residency of NYPD officers.

"Animals" and "savages," were just a few amongst several of the disparaging comments made by a group of NYPD officers to describe the participants in the annual West Indian Day Parade that takes place on Labor Day along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.

“The vile and racist language used by police officers with respect to the West Indian Day Parade shocks the conscience and demands legislative action. We are not savages. We are not monkeys. We are sick and tired of officers who do not understand and respect our community,” said Assemblyman Jeffries.

Jeffries's legislation would require New York City residency of all future NYPD new hires. The intent: to cultivate greater empathy toward the lifestyle and culture of the communities they serve.

Currently, under New York state law, residency is not required when one takes the police exam. However, at the time of appointment, residency is required either in New York City or one of five suburban counties: Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Nassau or Suffolk.

New York City did have a residency requirement for police at one point but it was later revoked, according to a spokeswoman for Jeffries. Assemblyman Al Vann then tried to re-instate residency for the police, but the legislation did not pass.

Police have not said whether the officers involved in the Facebook incident live outside of New York City, and according to a spokesperson for Jeffries, there is no specific study available to support evidence that officers who live in the cities where they work behave with greater racial sensitivity.

However, a similar effort was mounted in Los Angeles in 1994 by City Council member Richard Alarcon after an American Civil Liberties Union report concluding that 83.1 percent of the city's officers do not live in Los Angeles.

In Simi Valley, where 293 Los Angeles officers resided, the Los Angeles officers outnumbered the local Simi Valley Police Department by more than two to one. The communities in which the largest clusters of officers resided had racial profiles significantly different from Los Angeles, making it more likely that officers and their families have few social interactions with African-Americans outside the context of police work.

Among the report's recommendations at that time were special incentives to induce officers to move into neighborhoods via a system of city-owned or rent-subsidized housing for police officers willing to make a one-year or two-year residency commitment.

Assemblyman Jeffries’ bill would not require officers currently living outside of the city to move. However the law would require new recruits to reside in the city of New York. Other major American cities like Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago require residency for their police force.

“The attitude of police officers who made disparaging comments about the West Indian American Day Parade mars the integrity of the NYPD,” said Council Member James. “Outrage has followed these deeply bigoted comments, which suggest that the officers view their duty as a war against the communities they have sworn to protect, and is reminiscent of a time before community policing was established as NYPD policy.”

pat December 13, 2011 at 01:03 AM
Uhhhhh, how many people were shot at that parade this year. How many more incidents were reported that were not mentioned to the media. That parade is terrible and should be canceled. Let me get this straight, these clowns want to tell people where to live now too. How about you start by passing legislation that deals with these welfare abusers and pull the pacifier. Not sure if you realize this, but there are still people buying Snicker bars with my tax dollars. How about we do something that matters.
Jolene Halzen December 14, 2011 at 04:02 AM
Thank you Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries for standing up for Brooklyn communities and its people. Thank you for introducing legislation that will promote reconciliation, community, and diversity.
GT Massive December 21, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Who ever you are you don't know a damn thing about West Indian people so go and do your research and get your facts right the incident happen after the parade not during and not one West Indian was involved just to set the record straight!!!
GT Massive December 21, 2011 at 08:04 PM
Ignorant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GT Massive December 21, 2011 at 08:05 PM
Thanks to the good leaders who looks out for our well being!!!!
Phil January 28, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Would the good people of Nassau, Suffolk, Putnam, Orange or Rockland counties accept a police force wherein the majority DID NOT RESIDE? NO. But the citizens of New York City are not afforded the same rights... therein lies the beginning of the mindset of the army of occupation.

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