Proposed NYPD training materials: Don't 'engage in racial profiling'

Story highlights

  • The training materials are a result of a 2013 ruling declaring "Stop, Question and Frisk" unconstitutional
  • They read that racial profiling "is offensive. ... It diverts us from catching real criminals"

(CNN)If newly revised NYPD training materials are approved by a federal judge, new cadets could be taking courses reminding them "not to engage in racial profiling."

The proposed training materials, overseen by appointed federal monitor Peter Zimroth, were submitted to Manhattan Federal Court judge Analisa Torres on Monday for approval. They include directives to "not tell or tolerate ethnic, racial or sexist jokes" and to "not imitate the speech patterns" of others.
"Do not engage in racial profiling," the training materials read. "It is against the law. It violates fundamental democratic precepts and freedoms. It violates this Department's policies. It is offensive. It violates your responsibility to treat people equally. It diverts us from catching real criminals. It alienates us from people who need us, and hurts our ability to do our job. You can probably think of other reasons not to do it, but the point is that you will not do it."
    The training notes also instruct new cadets "not to use terms or words that devalue groups of people or stereotype them" and "not to imitate speech patterns of other racial, ethnic and class groups when communicating cross culturally" because "they appear disingenuous, artificial, and possibly racist."

    'Stop, Question and Frisk'

    The revised training notes, which include 140 pages of instruction and PowerPoint slides, are a result of a 2013 federal ruling declaring the New York Police Department's "Stop, Question and Frisk" practice unconstitutional.
    The NYPD has said the policy -- in which police stop, question and frisk people they consider suspicious -- was used to deter crime. The practice had been widely criticized.
    Police Department figures showed that nearly nine out of 10 people "stopped and frisked" in 2011 were African-American or Hispanic, though New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has said 90% of those stopped were innocent.
    "The current training materials had not undergone a comprehensive review for some time ... [and] did not address some important subjects or account for some changes in NYPD policies and law," Zimroth wrote in a cover letter to Torres. "All parties agreed it was essential that the materials be rewritten for the current class to reflect current law and policy."
    The NYPD collaborated with Zimroth's team in crafting the final training materials. They will now "review their implementation in terms of our current and ongoing practices," said an NYPD spokesperson in an email to CNN.
    The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association declined to comment.

    'Courteous, professional and respectful'

    The materials also provide historical legal information on proper "stops" and offers detailed procedures for patrolling buildings for criminal activity. They also give instructions on how an officer should lawfully conduct him or herself when engaging with the public.
    "Remember that a courteous, professional and respectful police officer who illustrates the opposite of bias and discrimination helps create a partnership with the community and builds rapport with the people in it.
    "The result is that the citizens become our allies and, in turn, policing becomes safer and easier. This enhances our effectiveness and increases our pride and pleasure in what we do," the notes read.
    If approved, the new training materials will be integrated into the class curriculum for the current class of cadets. They are expected to graduate in June.