“The major issue is you have the inability, almost-improbability of getting African-Americans to join due to the diabolization of police officers over the last six or seven years,” Joseph said.
“It makes it very tough for them to recruit African-Americans.”
“Our political leaders have used the ‘defund the police’ movement as a political football to advance their own careers,” Boatwright said.
“We have made the policing profession so unattractive to not only African-Americans but other minorities. To sit there and expect people to join the ranks of a profession that has been vilified for the last 18 months or two years or so…is an unreasonable expectation.”
Not coincidentally, the U.S. homicide rate spiked 30% from 2019 to 2020, the largest such increase in 100 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Joseph faulted left-wing politicians and community advocates for spouting anti-cop vitriol that has shrunk the ranks of officers in the country’s largest cities. He pushed back on ideologues playing identity politics.
“I’m not a crayon. You can’t pull out my Black side or my blue side and use it for whatever agenda,” he said.
“What we need is to put African-American officers who can convey…to young African-Americans that this job is what you make it. Your soul and your will control you, not your skin color or the color of your uniform.”
Boatwright ended the interview by stressing the importance of getting involved and incentivizing minority recruitment to the police force.