News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Dec. 7, 2011: Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke, has slammed as outrageous, comments allegedly posted on Facebook by some New York City Police officers on the West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn.
Clarke’s comments come on the heels of a New York Times article on Monday that revealed the highly charged and racist comments posted on Facebook by some officers upset at having to work at the parade.
“I am outraged by the Facebook posts from some of New York City’s Police officers regarding the West Indian American Day Parade,” said the congresswoman in a statement. “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.”
Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who has been a regular attendee and supporter of the parade since her post as a New York City Councilmember, said it is clear that the comments 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,” she said.
The congresswoman is urging 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,” added the congresswoman.
Meanwhile, Caribbean American Council Member, Jumaane D. Williams, who was arrested by officers after this year’s parade, said he is not surprised at the page.
“What concerns me is that the racist language used here matches up with racist NYPD policies such as stop, question and frisk,” he said. “It really underscores the crisis facing communities of more color in this city. They have every right to express their concern that they are not being defended by local police officers, but rather are under attack.”
He added: “Yet, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have maintained their deafening silence towards this issue,” he said. “Neither of them are willing to admit there is a systemic problem with the culture of the NYPD. They both have insisted that each case is a bad apple here or there; what we now have is a bumper crop of bad apples. We have a bushel of bad apples. What is the bar? What is the threshold for recognizing the problem?”
Mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser says the Police Department is investigating and will handle the matter appropriately, as they always do.
The page, meanwhile, has disappeared from Facebook. Organizers of the annual West Indian American Day Carnival, now in its 44th year of existence, have so far not commented on the issue.