New York police department vows to change system which used initials to define an officer's race

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Details have emerged of documents in a New York police department that were using the letter 'Y' - for 'yellow' - to denote Asian officers.

Screenshots of the document were shared on a Google Drive after the New York Civil Liberties Union obtained a Freedom of Information Law request.

The document shows that the Nassau County Police Department, Long Island were using single letters to define the races of their sworn personnel.

NBC News reported that the department had confirmed to them that 'B' equalled black, 'H' for hispanic, 'W' for white, 'I' for Indian and 'Y' for yellow.

In a statement Michael Sisitzky of the NYCLU policy council said:

These derogatory designations don't only represent slurs against members of the department, they also raise questions about the way the police department thinks about Asian-Americans and the communities they are sworn to protect.

The documents were reportedly created in personnel spreadsheet that was over 25-years-old.

In a statement, Detective Lt. Richard LeBrun confirmed that these notations would be changing immediately. He said:

In this particular situation, this computer program was developed over a quarter century ago and in no way has the use of these letters reflected any bias toward our Asian American or Native American residents.

Asian Americans and Native Americans will be properly identified in the revisions to this IT system.

In no way has the use of these letters reflected any bias toward our Asian American or Native American residents.

The Nassau County Police Department strives to protect all of its residents, regardless of race, colour, gender and religion.

In addition, LeBrun said all of the data that had been brought to light by the NYCLU would be examined upon the group's recommendations.

According to NYCLU, the documents covered department policies on the use of force and stops, diversity in their staff and training materials.

The documents were made public on Wednesday in a report entitled 'Behind the Badge'.

HT Business Insider

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