N.Y. Police Dept. Bans Religious, Ethnic Labels for ‘wanted Suspects

Walter Arm, Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of community relations, announced today that the New York Police Department has reaffirmed orders not to state a suspect’s presumed religion or ethnic identity in “wanted” circulars. He said this type of description “has no value in a search.”

Commissioner Arm made this statement following several inquiries into a recent circular in which one suspect was described as “apparently Jewish,” and another as “German” or “Irish.” He admitted that this was a mistake, and asserted that supposed religious and ethnic origins have been eliminated from “wanted” circulars for several years. A recent check revealed that, of the 225 “wanted” circulars issued since the beginning of 1963, ethnic descriptions were given in four cases.

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