It was with deep disappointment that we received the news that Chief Banks was no longer be with the New York City Police Department. Chief Banks represented the progressive type of policing that truly represents the NYPD's motto of "Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect ." We are currently experiencing a total breakdown of trust and positive relationships between the police and the community.
Far too often this distrust is found in minority communities. Where some of the most blatant form of police brutality and police disrespect of civil and human rights are exercised and carried out by some members of our police department. All of our statistics show an alarming rate of complaints of police brutality in those very same communities in need of police system. Research has shown the existence of a low level of criminal activity where there is a high level of positive police community relationships. Whereas research has shown a high level of criminal activity in communities with a low level of trust and positive police community relations. This holds true in New York City. Which has resulted in a tremendous distrust and a fractured relationship between the police and the Minority Community in which they serve. The city is in desperate need of police reform and police accountability.
The NAACP supports and believes in professional policing. However as a Civil Rights Organization we understand that this will only come about when we have professionals at the top level of law enforcement who respects the Civil Rights of all Citizens and the fact that effective policing can be accomplished without abusing the innocent or the accused. Policing is a highly valued professionalism in our community in which we respect, and need to maintain an orderly society. To reach that level of a true partnership between the community and the police there must be reform that holds the ten percent of those officers responsible for the abuse in our community accountable for their behavior. One can never break the law under the pretext or guise of enforcing the law.
During our interactions with Chief Banks we found a true police professional who had the unique ability to enforce the law without abusing the people. This is the type of leadership the NAACP and other civil rights organization is looking for in policing. Unfortunately, in this modern technological society, the city of New York was unable to retain the services that he brought to the top levels of administration in New York City Policing. We question whether removing Chief Banks from the department or from an administrative decision making position was the true motivation of his promotion. As we move forward, we continue to call for professional policing and police accountability. We would hope that the Mayor and the Police Commission would be dedicated to this call and work with the NAACP to achieve this objective.
Hazel N. Dukes
President, New York State Conference of Branches