The head of a national police group said that New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton as the new police commissioner was yet another missed opportunity to promote a highly-qualified Latino to a top post.
The National Latino Officers Association, as well as the New York Police Department’s Hispanic Society, had pushed for First Deputy Commissioner Rafael Pineiro to be picked to head the city force.
De Blasio had interviewed Pineiro for the top job before he announced his selection of Bratton.
“There’s disappointment,” said Anthony Miranda, the executive chairman of NALO. “It was a missed opportunity for de Blasio to break new ground. Being considered but not chosen is the new form of discrimination against Hispanics.”
Being considered but not chosen is the new form of discrimination against Hispanics.
- Anthony Miranda, chairman of the National Latino Officers Association
Bratton served as NYPD Commissioner once before, under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, from 1994 to 1996. Many minority groups objected to the naming of Bratton because of his firm support of the police tactic known as stop-and-frisk.
The tactic allows police to stop anyone believed to be acting suspiciously. Its supporters say it has driven down crime while its critics say it unfairly targets black and Latino men.
A federal judge ruled over the summer that the NYPD sometimes carried out its stops unconstitutionally by unfairly targeting minorities. Her ruling is on hold pending an appeal by the city.
The appeal won't be heard until after de Blasio takes office, and he has said he'd drop it.
Miranda, a retired NYPD sergeant, said he hopes that de Blasio, whose election campaign stressed diversity, gives Pineiro a slot in his administration.
“There are still other opportunities,” said Miranda. “We’re going to be looking at appointments, not only with de Blasio but also with the police department.”
Pineiro supporters had said that he would have been a natural choice for commissioner.
He already had a top post in the department, he was a 40-year veteran of the department, he had graduated from the police academy at the top of his class, and had received the Chief of Personnel’s Award for the highest academic and physical fitness scores. Pineiro also helped oversee a rise in the diversity in the force, which is about 25 percent Latino.
Miranda said he has asked to meet with Bratton to begin a relationship between the new commissioner and Latino police, but has not yet gotten a response.
He said he will push for a change in some practices and policies that discriminate against minority police officers.
“He wasn’t our first choice, but he is going to be the Police Commissioner for at least the next four years,” Miranda said. “The message from de Blasio and Bratton is that they’re going to be bringing in a new era of inclusion and diversity. We’re going to make sure it’s not just lip service.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.