Next American City is reporting that today, police chiefs from all over the country will gather in New York City for an unprecedented meeting to discuss racial profiling and immigration policy. Despite the fact that police executives from Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and Vancouver will be among those in attendance, New York City officials have declined to participate.
The Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity (CPLE), which organized the conference, hopes that the police chief summit will provide police executives, researchers, community activists and federal officials an opportunity to define racial profiling, discuss ways to end it, and figure out how best to implement just immigration policy.
In the article, New American City’s Ferentz Lafargue highlights how law enforcement leaders’ failures to realize how racial profiling and immigration issues are connected can lead to contradictions when explaining policies to the public:
To give a sense of how befuddling these issues have become for law enforcement officials seeking to enact local measures that will align well with a national agenda, while New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has identified immigration reform as one of his chief policy items–seeking to do for this issue what he’s done for gun-reform–and has emerged as one of the staunchest critics of Arizona’s SB-1070, Bloomberg still continues supporting the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” program. And although this conference is not only about racial equity in law enforcement in Arizona and New York City, these two locales have garnered considerable attention leading up to it; and will likely do so during the two-day function.
Organizing for the conference began shortly after Utah passed SB81, a provision that made it illegal for anyone to transport and harbor undocumented immigrants, prevented immigrants from receiving public benefits and allowed police officers to check the status of anyone taken into custody. CPLE co-executive director Phillip Aliba Goff believes that the stringent-spirit of SB81 was jacked up to the next level when Arizona’s SB1070 hit the law books.
As ColorLines’ Seth Wessler reported months ago, Arizona isn’t the only state riddled with draconian laws that criminalize immigrants. Not only are SB 1070 copycat laws creeping into at least 22 other states, but policing practices like “stop and frisk” in New York have gone badly awry. The department recently acknowledged that 88 percent of the stops were young blacks and Latinos, and those but rarely yielded any results. At this point, it looks like NYPD could use all the help they can get.