Racial profiling is a troubling and longstanding problem in the police force. While some try to deny it, most of us know and understand this reality, even if we just blame it on a few “bad apples.” But a group of police officers of color are speaking out, showing how this issue is actually systemic.
In an interview with WNBC, a group of Black and brown cops disclosed how they are asked to prey on Black, Latinx, LGBT and homeless communities.
"They tell you this to your face: 'Black and Hispanics between 14 and 21. They must get stopped,'" says an officer.
Many of the officers agreed that one of the biggest problems is police quotas – a set number of tickets or arrests – which forces them to go hunting on potential lawbreakers, no matter how trivial the “crime.”
“The problem is when you go hunting, when you put any type of number for a police officer to perform, we are going to go to the most vulnerable. We are going to go to the LGBT community. We are going to go to the Black community. We are going to go to those people who have no vote, that have no power. If we start doing what we're doing in Midtown Manhattan, phone calls to the mayor's office are going to be made," another explained.
"We're the predators, and they're the prey. The worst thing you can have is a police officer that needs an arrest for the month,” a cop adds.
Being forced to target their own community doesn’t bode well with these officers. "It's horrible,” one says.
They blame the targeting and racial profiling on leadership, those who hold higher ranks and have the decision-making power.
“This is something coming from the top that trickles its way down."
Watch a clip of the segment, put together by mitú, below.