Attached to this post, is an interesting story from New York City about the fear of being racially profiled that even active police officers feel. It isn’t hard to imagine how hard it can be for many cops who get into public service for all the right reasons. This story from Reuters is about black officers in New York, however the same types of behavior happen all over the country, even in Humboldt.
For instance, imagine the difficulty in being a Hispanic officer working under the “leadership” of racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Or, being an officer of color working in Ferguson. The blight of minorities or marginalized people within the ranks of policing is well documented, and frightening.
On top of the race issues in police departments, it is also hard for women and LGBT officers to break through the white heterosexual male culture of policing. How many openly gay male officers are there in Humboldt, for instance? We would be surprised if there was more than just a couple. Sharing a locker room with the openly conservative Christians Chief Andy Mills and Sheriff Mike Downey would have to be just a little more than uncomfortable.
Policing in this country needs to change, that is without question. However, one of the avenues with which to create that change could come from reaching out to marginalized officers within the ranks of police departments. If that bridge can be crossed, the message of modernizing and integrating “community oriented policing” might be a little more effective.
here is another divide – between black and white officers.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – From the dingy donut shops of Manhattan to the cloistered police watering holes in Brooklyn, a number of black NYPD officers say they have experienced the same racial profiling that cost Eric Garner his life.
Garner, a 43-year-old black man suspected of illegally peddling loose cigarettes, died in July after a white officer put him in a chokehold. His death, and that of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, has sparked a slew of nationwide protests against police tactics. On Saturday, those tensions escalated after a black gunman, who wrote of avenging the black deaths on social media, shot dead two New York policemen.
The protests and the ambush of the uniformed officers pose a major challenge for New York Mayor Bill De Blasio. The mayor must try to ease damaged relations with a police force that feels he hasn’t fully supported them, while at the same time bridging a chasm with communities who say the police unfairly target them.
What’s emerging now is that, within the thin blue line of the NYPD, there is another divide – between black and white officers.