That’s probably not what DOJ hoped to find was the problem.
America’s police are facing unprecedented scrutiny amid relentless criticism; it has become so intense that the Wall Street Journal calls it a “crisis” and calls are made to “overhaul” our law enforcement system. One solution, offered by the abhorrent Al Sharpton, is to nationalize America’s police forces and to place them under the purview of the Justice Department.
Enter the United States Department of Justice. The DOJ released a report on “Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement” (embedded below), and it includes some rather . . . interesting proposals.
Among them, suggestions that criminal background checks are inherently racist and allowances should be made to convicted criminals wishing to join a police department in certain circumstances.
From the DOJ report:
Researchers and practitioners have also highlighted that the use of criminal background checks, which are a regular part of the screening process for many agencies, is likely to disproportionately impact racial minority applicants since, for a variety of reasons, individuals from those communities are more likely to have contact with the criminal justice system. While law enforcement agencies are undeniably justified in carefully vetting and investigating potential hires, excluding applicants regardless of the nature of the underlying offense, or how much time has passed since an offense occurred, or without any consideration of whether the candidate has changed in the intervening period, can be a significant – and unwarranted – barrier.
Another point of contention for the DOJ is the requirement that American police officers be American citizens.
Again from the DOJ report:
Many law enforcement agencies also require candidates to be U.S. citizens. In fact, more than 40 states have statutes, regulations, or administrative rules in place that restrict the ability of law enforcement agencies to employ non-citizens. While Federal law allows law enforcement agencies to impose a citizenship requirement where it is authorized by state or local law, this requirement may prevent a considerable number of racial and ethnic minorities – many of whom have valuable foreign language skills – from being hired by law enforcement agencies.
The DOJ recommends a “holistic” approach to hiring police officers and personnel, along with a review of physical tests that show women to be less capable in this area and written tests that negatively impact minorities.
Some physical ability tests that purport to simulate the tasks undertaken by police officers have been found to have an unlawful disparate impact on women and where they are insufficiently related to actual job duties.140 For example, a physical test that included a stair climb, a run, and an obstacle course was found to have a disparate impact on women and be insufficiently related to the police officer job. Similarly, tests that purport to measure overall physical fitness (such as push-ups, sit-ups, and running) but apply a unitary standard to men and women have been found to disproportionately exclude women from law enforcement positions and be insufficiently job related. For example, the requirement that men and women perform the same number of push-up and sit-up components of one physical fitness test was found to violate Title VII.
. . . . Extensive Title VII case law has revealed that certain written tests used as part of entry-level hiring in state and local law enforcement agencies are likely to create an unlawful disparate impact, and are not necessary for selecting the most qualified candidates. For example, while skills like reading comprehension and arithmetic may be important for these positions, tests that focus solely on these skills may not sufficiently or accurately represent the skills needed for the position and thus unnecessarily screen out qualified applicants. Reliance on these tests can create an unnecessary barrier to the hiring of qualified racial minority applicants who may have been selected if the test were a better reflection of what was actually needed on the job.
The DOJ also notes that grooming and appearance requirements unfairly target women and ethnic / religious minorities.
In addition, certain on-the-job policies relating to uniform and appearance can also prevent women and minorities from serving as law enforcement officers. For example, unnecessarily rigid grooming and uniform policies that prohibit beards or religious headwear may pose an illegal obstacle to retaining minorities and women, including religious minorities.
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