Black Cops Say They Get Racially Profiled, Too

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The New York Police Department graduation ceremony for 1,171 new recruits, held at Madison Square Garden. This graduating class of police recruits is one of the most diverse in the city's history, coming from 45 countries and speaking 48 foreign languages.
Photo: Timothy Fadek/Corbis

They may be boys (and girls) in blue while on the job, but in their off hours, they’re just like anyone else: Black NYPD officers told Reuters that they’ve experienced racial profiling at the hands of fellow officers. The wire service interviewed 25 current and retired cops, 24 of whom said they’ve encountered this type of discrimination.

One retired sergeant, Desmond Blaize (who’s also suing the NYPD for racial discrimination), was stopped while jogging in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, but had his police identification on him. “But what’s suspicious about a jogger? In jogging clothes?” he said to Reuters. Other encounters included:

[B]eing pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.

Only a third of the officers profiled filed complaints to the department, while others didn’t, citing fear of retribution. Most of those who filed complaints told Reuters that their superiors dismissed the complaints, or punished them for complaining.