Why so few complaints to the police from POC?

logo Latest in a series of posts about the Bethlehem Police logo

I really don’t go on the Gadfly.
Chief DiLuzio

Public Safety Committee meeting video here

Councilwoman Van Wirt starts another interesting conversation here, spurred by a notation by Prof Ochs on her reading of the police statistics and an observation that Councilwoman Negron made at the last Council meeting.Van Wirt 1

Here’s PVWs question: why are there so few complaints to the police from POC?

It’s a fair question.

From Prof Ochs in a Gadfly post August 10:

People of color make up 60-80% of incidents (compared to 44% of the city) and whites between 30-40% (compared to 60% of the city)


70% of complaints to BPD are made by white people, which is again an over-representation. I recognize that it is less stark than the makeup of the police force, but it does speak to who feels that they have access to police as a safe service to call . . . and when viewed in combination with who is a police officer [Ochs says the dept. is 81% white], this makes sense.

Gadfly remembers a point made by Councilwoman Negron at last Council meeting, that the low number of Latinx complaints to the police department does not mean that all is good but that they are scared, fear reprisal, do not trust the police.

So why the low number of complaints from POC?

It’s a fair question.

This graph from Prof Ochs “graphically” illustrates the disparity in arrests between POCs and whites.

Commonsense would tell you to expect more complaints from POCs.

Ochs 3

Why the low number of complaints from POC?

It’s a fair question, but it’s a tough question.

Tough because of what it might imply.

And the Chief fights it like it was a snake wrapped around his neck. Listen.

The better part of valor might have been for him to admit that there was something odd here that needed explanation.

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