Hispanic Police Say City Doesn’t Offer Support

(Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

(Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

After New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton introduced new training procedures in the wake of the death of Eric Garner following a police chokehold, several voices within the NYPD expressed their dissatisfaction with what they consider a lack of support of the municipal government, El Diario reports. The following is a condensed version of the story by Marlene Peralta, focusing on the concerns of Hispanic organizations representing police officers:

While they have admitted that there have been instances when they have committed errors and made use of excessive force – as in the Eric Garner case – many in the department have pointed out a deeper debate regarding the city administration’s policing philosophy. Of late, the discussion has been focused on the effectiveness of the “broken windows theory.” However, many officers say that now they feel that the controversy includes everything they do. (…)

“Without the support of the public and of our elected leaders, and in an anti-police environment, many good cops will choose to retire,” Dennis González, president of the NYPD Hispanic Society, told El Diario.

Days ago, González presented a strongly-worded press release questioning the statements Mayor de Blasio made after the West Indian American Day Carnival. The mayor had said that, although there had been reports of one death and four wounded in separate disturbances, the event had been “extraordinarily safe.” González added: “From the authorities’ point of view, especially that of those appointed to handle this event, the loss of even one life is unacceptable.”

Even though many officers have expressed disappointment with the mayor because of what they call “weak support of the [police] force” after Garner’s death, most of their criticism is directed toward the City Council.

Ed Rodríguez, president of the Dominican Officers Organization, said that members of the organization comment that all they hear from the City Council are statements against the police. “If they don’t say that they support the police, nobody will know it.”

(…)

The consensus within the NYPD – including its higher-ranking officers – is that the community’s criticism is unfair because the use of excessive force has reportedly decreased sharply in the last 20 years. This year, excessive force has only been recorded in 1.9 percent of arrests, in contrast with 8.5 percent in 1992.

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