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Yvette Clarke to NY Police Commish: Investigate Racism

Full disclosure: I have several relatives in law enforcement in NY and VA. My sister and Grandmother live in Yvette Clarke’s district in Brooklyn. Yesterday, the New York Times reported the dubious and irresponsible (for someone with arrest power and a edge and a gun) racist statements of members of the New York City Police Department regarding participants of the annual West Indian Day Parade which is on Labor Day each year.

Rep. Yvette Clarke is calling for an investigation. read today’s NYT piece here. Of course, unless DoJ gets involved or martians land, this will never happen. This is the same New York City Police Department that has a record number of stop and frisk stops on black and Latino New Yorkers — even though NYC is only 30% minority.  This is the same Department that can’t say sorry for Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell (not that it makes them any different than any other Police Dept…) Those two men are dead. What makes anyone think the NYPD would investigate racist, violence tinged words on Facebook?  What history does the NYPD have of investigating issues like this? Has Ray Kelly shown a history of looking into things like this?  Kelly will do what he always does and what other police department’s do: He’ll wait for the ruckus in the press to die down and ignore it until the issue goes away. And you thought the Rudy year were over?  Here is Rep. Yvette Clarke’s statement on the matter:

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Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke’s Statement on Inappropriate West Indian Parade Facebook Posts by NYC Police

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement regarding the highly charged and racist comments posted on Facebook by New York City Police officers in reference to being assigned to work at the West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn:

“I am outraged by the Facebook posts from some of New York City’s  Police officers regarding the West Indian American Day Parade.  The Facebook posts, which were recently highlighted in the New York Times, illustrate that unfortunately, some NYPD officers harbor a sick, disdainful and bigoted perception of the very communities they are sworn to protect and serve.  While we will never truly know how wide-spread and pervasive this mentality is within the department, the fact that it exists, is a very serious breach of the trust that most brooklynites have held in relation to the NYPD.  It is clear that this has harmful implications for all people living in communities across Brooklyn.  The bottom line is, these officers through their Facebook group, have done more to set back the police and community relations gained over the past two decades.  Simply put… it undermines the reputation of the NYPD.

“I call upon Commissioner Raymond Kelly to launch  a thorough and full investigation of this Facebook group, remove and reassign any officers who may be assigned to precincts in Central Brooklyn and hold these individuals accountable for at minimum, their breach of the public trust.  Unfortunately, when a law enforcement climate is created that promotes an abusive stop and frisk policy and  racial profiling as an effective crime fighting strategy in the department, you are essentially inviting the biggots and racists within the organization to ‘reveal their preferences’ through their thoughts, words and deeds.  This is totally unacceptable and it is clear that we are truly witnessing an all time low from the NYPD.”