Black NYPD officers report they feel threatened by their brothers in blue, while off-duty.
Reuters conducted interviews with 25 African American, male, officers of the New York Police Department, 15 of whom are retired and the rest are still serving. All but one of the men reported being racially profiled when off-duty and out of uniform. The experiences included unnecessary traffic stops, getting their head slammed against their cars, having guns put in their faces, being stopped and frisked while shopping, and being thrown into prison vans. The majority of officers said they’d been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five have had guns pulled on them. They all said that the officers who instigated these situations were exclusively white.
John Jay professor Dolores Jones-Brown cited a 2010 report from the New York State Task Force concerning police-on-police shootings which discovered that in the last 15 years, officers of color have suffered the highest fatalities in encounters with police officers who mistook them for criminals.
The NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association declined to comment. However, former LAPD police chief Bernard Parks, who is African American, said of the findings, “It makes good headlines to say this is occurring, but I don’t think you can validate it until you look into the circumstances they were stopped in.” He continued, “Now if you want to get into the essence of why certain groups are stopped more than others, then you only need to go to the crime reports and see which ethnic groups are listed more as suspects. That’s the crime data the officers are living with.”