Monday, January 23, 2012

NYPD Promotion Practices Under Fire

Last week, we learned that NYPD Detectives are suing the NYPD over its promotion practice in the Intelligence Unit. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn continued to oppose Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to exclude single adults from our city's homeless shelter. Also, Manhattan's only confirmed Underground Railroad was celebrated last week.

NYPD Excluding African Americans from "Secret" Promotion List

A group of Black NYPD detectives are suing the NYPD for its alleged anti-Black bias in promoting Black members of the NYPD within the NYPD's Intelligence Unit.

The complaint filed by the Black detectives alleges that "the NYPD has chosen to cloak promotions in secrecy and give the all-white high level supervisors who run the Intelligence Division unfettered discretion to handpick white detectives for promotions over more qualified African American detectives." The complaint states that only 35 of the 600 employees in the Intelligence Unit are Black and that only 8 of the 161 sergeants are Black.  Also, only out of 224 detectives in the unit, 21 are Black—just 6 percent. These horrible results are incompatible with our diverse city.

Unfortunately, as CNN reported, no Black member of the Intelligence Unit holds a rank above sergeant, while most serve as third grade detectives, just one rank above regular police officers.

The distinction means a salary difference of $30,000 per year between a third grade detective and a higher first grade detective. It is also a difference of $15,000 per year from a lifetime pension, and the lower ranking excludes third grade detectives from professional networking events and opportunities.
The complainants said they have been passed up numerous times for promotions despite excellent work records and recommendations from superiors.
Mayor Bloomberg has been relentless in his efforts to prevent Black New Yorkers from joining the Fire Department of New York. Last week, rather than accept defeat and move toward racial integration at the FDNY, the Mayor focused his fire on the federal judge who has been demanding that Bloomberg end his commitment to his "whites-only" FDNY policy. Bloomberg has adopted a view that those who do not support his "whites-only" mandate cannot be tolerated in positions of power. We should not expect him to be open to ending the barriers to promotion of Black detectives in the NYPD. 

Quinn and City Council Go To Court Against Bloomberg on Homeless Shelter Rules

In the latest chapter of the ongoing dispute between the NY City Council and Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council has filed suit against the Mayor to prevent the Mayor from implementing his proposed policy of demanding that single adults prove that they have no alternative housing options before they can be admitted to a homeless shelter.

The homeless dispute is a rare moment of discord between Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn. The Speaker will have to find a great deal more to distance herself from the Mayor as she seeks to become his successor.

Underground Railroad in Manhattan

From the NY Daily News last week:

A Chelsea brownstone was heralded Sunday as the only documented Manhattan stop on the underground railroad.
Elected officials, city preservationists and history buffs unveiled a marker on 339 W. 29th St.
“This is a happy day as we celebrate the spirit of survival of the freedom-seeking slaves of the 1840s and ’50s who found shelter in this building,” Julie Finch of the Friends of the Hopper Gibbons House Underground Railroad Site said.
The rowhouse is one of roughly a half-dozen Greek Revival buildings dotting the block between Eighth and Ninth Aves.
It was once home to the Quaker abolitionists James Sloan Gibbons and Abby Hopper Gibbons, who helped African-Americans as they escaped the clutches of slavery.
“They heroically provided shelter to African-Americans who were running for their lives . . . at a time when it was illegal to do so,” said Fern Luskin, a professor at LaGuardia Community College who discovered the building’s history.

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