Police Brutality and Race Discrimination in Officer Hiring

After the recent events in Ferguson, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are being forced to examine internal practices and policies that may be prejudicial. Discrimination in officer hiring could play into police brutality, racial profiling, and other complications involving discrimination by law enforcement. According to a recent analysis of Census Bureau data, blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately underrepresented in police departments. In California, Hispanics suffer from disproportionate hiring more than African Americans.

NM_AMN_11gpLIGHT#10101Racial discrimination in hiring practices is illegal and for police and law enforcement agencies, the results can impact the entire community. Our Orange County race discrimination attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic and supportive advocacy to raise awareness and prevent discrimination in the workplace. In addition to representing our clients, we are also committed to raising awareness to prevent future abuses and discrimination in California and nationwide.

In Anaheim, the population is more than 50% Hispanic, yet the police force is made up of only 23% Hispanics. In addition to the potentially discriminatory hiring practices, communities with disproportionate hiring may also find it more challenging to get help when they need it most. According to Anaheim authorities, the city is looking to review its budges and practices, as well as police shooting records and to improve relations between the community and law enforcement.

According to Justice Department statistics, Ferguson, Missouri also suffers from disproportionate hiring in the police force. Even though 65% of the population is black, only 11% of the police department is made up of black officers. After a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old, the city has been under national scrutiny for discriminatory police practices and brutality towards members of the community, inciting looting, riots, and resulting in federal intervention.
The Associated Press analysis found a racial gap between police officers and their communities has narrowed, however the disparities still exist. The report also found that the larger disparity was between communities and the representation of those communities in the hiring of Hispanic police departments. Throughout the U.S. a large number of communities have largely white police forces protecting primarily black communities. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that police forces should reflect the diversity of the community.

Recruiting minority officers can improve the relationship between law enforcement and their communities. While the report does not shed light on whether these practices within the departments are discriminatory, the results also speak for themselves. Minorities who seek law enforcement positions in the communities should be aware of potentially discriminatory hiring practices.

Individual officers or applicants who suspect they have suffered from discrimination in hiring should consult with an experienced employment law attorney. Discrimination based on race, age, nationality, religious affiliation, sexual identity or affiliation is illegal in California. Examples of discrimination include policies that have a disparate impact on applicants or employees, failure to hire, failure to promote, or termination based on discrimination. Victims of discrimination may also suffer harassment or a hostile work environment. Employers are also prohibited from taking retaliatory action against an employee who reports discrimination.

Employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 714-937-2020.

More Blog Entries:

California Employment Law: New Donor Protection Act, December 7, 2013 Orange County Employment Lawyer Blog

California’s Top Employment Law Mistakes, Oct. 26, 2013, Orange County Employment Lawyer Blog