NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says it’s hard to hire black cops because too many have criminal histories

The NYPD has a hard time hiring black men to become police officers because too many have criminal records, the city’s top cop said in an interview.  NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said it’s a challenge to find hirable blacks because so many African-American men have been arrested. GUEST COLUMN: BILL BRATTON HAS NO DESIRE TO HIRE BLACK COPS “We have a significant population gap among African-American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can’t hire them,” Bratton said in an interview published Tuesday by The Guardian, a British newspaper with a New York bureau. Bratton put at least part of the blame on the NYPD’s use of the controversial tactic stop-and-frisk, according to The Guardian. He acknowledged the “unfortunate consequences (of) stop, question and frisk,” a policy that hit communities of color hardest. But once the article went online — with the jarring headline “NYPD chief Bratton says hiring black officers is difficult: ‘So many have spent time in jail,’” — Bratton went ballistic. “We’re asking, we’re not even asking we’re demanding, a retraction and a correction because the story was a total misrepresentation of the original story,” said the commissioner, referring to another story published Tuesday by The Guardian. GUEST COLUMN: BILL BRATTON IS NOT A RACIST, HE JUST MISSPOKE “The original interview was done by one reporter and then they had a second reporter who took the first reporter’s story and totally misrepresented it in the second article,” Bratton told reporters. The city’s top cop went on to double down on his statement that many candidates of color were wiped out by criminal histories. “That’s well known. It’s an unfortunate fact that in the male black population, a very significant Continue Reading

Alex Ovechkin guarantees Capitals win, but Rangers have history on their side

WASHINGTON – The Rangers held Alex Ovechkin scoreless on Sunday night for a fourth straight game, the first time that has happened to the Great Eight since Dec. 18. But he is a three-time MVP and in the running again this year, and so Ovechkin defiantly guaranteed a Game 7 win – twice. “We gonna come back and win this series,” Ovechkin said, adding later: “We’re gonna play our game and we’re gonna come back and we’re gonna play Montreal or Tampa.” RELATED: RANGERS HOLD OFF CAPS' COMEBACK, 4-3, FORCE GAME 7 Such a high level of confidence was understandable given the Capitals’ near comeback from a 4-1 deficit in Game 6: They had drawn within 4-3 on Joel Ward’s goal at 10:33 of the third, uncorking 96 shot attempts in the game to the Rangers’ 55. The Caps attempted 24 shots in the final 9:27, getting four on net, while the Rangers didn’t register a shot attempt during that stretch. Still, all you had to do was look at Henrik Lundqvist at his locker, with a look of exhaustion under the Broadway Hat perched atop his head, to remember a key fact: Just because the Rangers never make it easy doesn’t mean they won’t make it. “Come on,” Lundqvist joked. “We only win one-goal games. You should know that by now.” The Capitals may feel they have momentum off their finish to Game 6, but the fact is in this series’ tightest moments it is the Rangers who have prevailed. Washington had this series clinched in Game 5 on Friday night at the Garden and coughed it up on Chris Kreider’s game-tying goal with 1:41 to play. Sunday night they were outplayed in their own buildingand let an opportunity slip through their fingers to close this series out in front of a thunderous home crowd. RELATED: REFS MAKE IT TOUGH ON RANGERS AFTER BLOWN CALL Now this series can end on the Rangers’ terms, 6-0 all-time in Game 7s at the Continue Reading

Steve Spagnuolo preaches storied Giants history to defense

This is not about personnel issues just yet, and it is not about the uncertainty at safety or the holes on the defensive line. No, to Steve Spagnuolo, the future of the Giants’ defense is all about its past. It’s about reminding a young unit of its storied history — of Lawrence Taylor and Sam Huff and Michael Strahan — and then pushing the group to live up to that legacy. “When you embrace something you have a little pride in it,” Spagnuolo said Saturday after Giants rookie minicamp, in his first public comments since his hiring back as defensive coordinator nearly four months ago. “If you’ve got a little pride in something, like your family, you tend to protect it. “We’ve been going back and feeding the guys all the greats here, and we’ll eventually start feeding them great defensive games. I think we should all embrace it.” RELATED: GIANTS' JUSTIN PUGH STILL RIGHT TACKLE FOR NOW In Spagnuolo’s second stint with the Giants, this has been his chief early goal. The man who once engineered the scheme that stonewalled an undefeated Patriots team in Super Bowl XLII talks of laying “the bottom of the foundation” for a new defense, of instilling values in a unit that experienced only sporadic success in five seasons under the departed Perry Fewell. So Spagnuolo has started his second stint with the Giants by forcing his defenders to learn about Big Blue’s greatest defenders, then quizzing players on the legacies of those greats. “Coach has us learn about each guy,” safety Bennett Jackson said. “There’s a bunch of Giants greats on the wall, and our first assignment was just learn about them. And learn their lifestyle. Just to kind of let you know that toughness and tradition of the defense. “Just kind of harping on that stronghold of tradition. He’s just bringing us back to that toughness.” Spagnuolo Continue Reading

SEE IT: First all-female quintuplets in U.S. history born to Houston parents

She went into the hospital and delivered history. A Houston mom last week delivered what's being billed as the first set of all-female quintuplets born in America. In just four minutes, Danielle Busby brought five healthy baby girls into the world: Olivia Marie, Ava Lane, Hazel Grace, Parker Kate and Riley Paige. "I was truly impressed with how smoothly everything went," father Adam Busby wrote on the couple's blog, "It's A Buzz World: The Story Of Our Fast Growing Family." "Wow!" he wrote two days after the births. "Don't blink or you'll miss a baby flying out the door!" The couple — who have one other daughter, 4-year-old Blayke — wrote on the blog they once considered giving up having children after a year of failed attempts. But in 2010, fertility drugs and intrauterine insemination gave them a first daughter. Now, after a 28-week pregnancy and a C-section delivery, that same method has given them a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth. The Woman's Hospital, which announced the bountiful births Tuesday, said in a statement the Busby baby girls were "requiring only modest support of their breathing" but otherwise doing fine. Same-sex quintuplets are so rare that there aren't even any statistics on them, and the odds of quintuplets in general are 1 in 60 million, the Houston Chronicle reported. Follow @jaysunsilver Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

A history of blacks in NYPD blue: It all started with Samuel Battle

Never in its 170-year life has the New York Police Department come close to employing black officers in rough proportion to the city’s African-American population. Why? Commissioner Bill Bratton says that many young African-American men are disqualified by felony convictions. Although the fact is indisputable, there’s more to the story. There’s a history that was steeped in racial hostility and that remains haunted by a perception that the department has it out for blacks — even as the NYPD has sharply reduced crime in poor and minority neighborhoods. For 65 years after the department’s creation in 1845, African-Americans knew better than to try to become cops. Spasms of anti-black police rioting and routine stationhouse brutality had made clear that the enforcers of the peace would also enforce white s’ view of blacks as not to be trusted with guns and legal powers. Then in 1910, Samuel Jesse Battle, a 27-year-old son of former slaves, decided to take a shot at breaking the color line. He would have to take a civil service exam — but the leading test prep school denied him admission. After Battle nonetheless aced the test, a police surgeon declared that he suffered from a disqualifying heart murmur. Only certification of perfect health by a prominent white doctor and crusading by the New York Age, a black-oriented newspaper, reversed the call. On June 28, 1911, Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo swore Battle in, telling him with great understatement, “You will have some difficulties but I know you will overcome them.” My book, “One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York,” to be published this month, chronicles Battle’s journey from rural North Carolina to first black cop, sergeant, lieutenant and parole commissioner, as well as aide to Mayor LaGuardia and friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. Along the way, the book measures the Continue Reading

FDNY holds ‘Women’s History Month’ recruitment event in effort to add more female firefighters

The FDNY turned up the heat Saturday in its efforts to recruit more women firefighters. About 200 women fired up about joining the ranks of the city’s Bravest donned gear, battled mock fires and worked hydrants during a hands-on “Women’s History Month” recruitment event at the FDNY’s training facility on Randalls Island Saturday afternoon. Currently, a minuscule 44 woman count themselves among the department’s 10,500 firefighters. The group included teens in the FDNY explorers program, military veterans, and women who already took the most recent firefighter exam and are currently on the list of potential hires over the next few years. “I think women are just as capable as men,” 23-year-old Illana Polanco said after trying her hand at running a hose and battling a staged dumpster fire. “I just want to be able to help people, put out fires and save lives.” The Clinton Hill resident, currently an EMT, hopes to make the next class of firefighters scheduled for 2017. The day-long event featured hands-on training demonstrations, mentoring sessions and panel discussions about careers for women in the FDNY. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and Chief of Department James Leonard looked on as the wannabe smoke-eaters strapped on full firefighter gear, helped extinguish fires, and hauled heavy weighted vests and hoses. Nigro testified before the City Council last week that the department has increased its efforts to welcome women into its ranks — and plans to spend $50 million to finish installing facilities for women firefighters in 47 firehouses that only accommodate men. “It was really empowering,” Katherine Gonzalez, 24, a retail manager from Bushwick, said of the back-breaking pre-training event. “We as women have to prove that we can do anything that a man can do, sometimes better.” Continue Reading

City bans employers from asking job applicants about criminal history

Employers will be banned from asking job applicants about their criminal history under a bill passed by the City Council Wednesday. The so-called “ban the box” legislation will do away with the common check-off box on applications that ask if job seekers have been convicted of a crime, and bar any questions about past incarceration until after a job offer has been made. Backers say it’s a needed move to give ex-cons who are often rejected right off the bat a chance to turn their lives around. “Having a past conviction obviously should not prevent someone from being able to put food on the table or pay rent,” said Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), the sponsor. “We want to make sure that people feel hopeful. They’ve paid their dues to society. We need to provide a pathway for them.” Supporters say offenders are more likely to return to crime if they can’t get a job. Under the bill, businesses will be able to ask about criminal history after they’ve made a job offer. If they choose to yank the offer as a result, they’ll have to provide a written explanation and give the applicant three days to respond before filling the position with someone else. Jobs where background checks are legally required, including law enforcement, are exempt. Business groups slammed the bill as an unfair government intrusion. “This bill is an example of ideology trumping practicality. There are many positions where employers must consider the background and criminal record of an applicant before offering a job,” said Kathy Wylde of the Partnership for New York City. “That is presumably why this legislation gives wide exemptions to city government. It should do the same for private sector employers,” she said. “New York State already has a strong anti-discrimination law on the books to protect ex-offenders from unfair Continue Reading

iPhone history: How the iPhone has evolved since its debut in 2007

Apple has been re-inventing the phone since June 29, 2007 when it first released its iPhone. The first generation iPhone was an 8GB model exclusive to AT&T and cost $599 on a two-year contract. Now, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are available on all carriers, come with minimum of 16GB memory space and sell anywhere between $299 and $749-depending on memory space and if the consumer gets it on a contract. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS ON FACEBOOK. CLICK HERE TO "LIKE." Exactly eight years later, the iPhone is still re-inventing itself and shaping the industry with new updates and models. This is the visual history of how the iPhone has been redesigned over the years: The first generation iPhone was a sleek smartphone with the trademark home button, a metal round rear casing and a 3.5-inch display. It also had 2.0 megapixel camera integrated in the back and had 2G networking capabilities— which nowadays is extremely slow. The smartphone was also one of the first to introduce a multi-touch screen. After the first generation-often referred to as the 2G-Apple released the 3G in 2008. The 3G notably added a higher connection speed and GPS functionality. The second model also included two options in memory, 8 GB or 16GB, and it came in two colors: black or white. The 3G kept the same design and camera from the first. Apple's 3GS model had just an internal update, rather than a facelift in 2009. The 3GS looked exactly like the 3G, but it had a 3.0 megapixel camera with video recording capabilities, voice control functionality and enhanced speed. Apple's third model of the iPhone also offered a new memory option of 32GB. The iPhone 4 was the first big release since the original iPhone since it received a significant update and new look. The iPhone 4 was a squared model (rather than rounded) with an all stainless steel body and covered in glass. Apple also introduced the retina display for the first time, the front facing Continue Reading

A delicious dive into the history of the New York City hotdog cart

The history of the New York City hotdog cart is as unique and original as the Manhattan skyline itself. The tale involves everything from chance business encounters on the bustling Lower East Side, to a daring escape from Nazi-controlled Europe on the brink of World War II. Jack Beller, vice president at Worksman Trading Corporation, literally grew up at the very heart of the modern hotdog cart. It was his father, Ed Beller, who arguably transformed the hotdog cart from a heavy and rickety wooden device, into something that symbolizes classic New York City streetscapes as much as boxy Checker cabs and water spewing fire hydrants. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. ‘LIKE’ US HERE. Having fled Europe due to the spread of Nazi power just prior to WWII, Ed Beller found himself transplanted to the family business, providing restaurant supplies in lower Manhattan, at the corner of Catherine Street and the Bowery. With the close of war, the business took an unexpected turn, thanks to conversations with local hotdog vendors. At that point in time, food carts were extremely heavy and not entirely sanitary wooden devices with only a few metal bits worked in here and there. Why not create a hotdog cart entirely out of lighter, stronger, and easier-to-clean metal and stainless steel? Behold, the modern iteration of the New York City hotdog cart is born! Combining his first name and that of his business partner (Mark Monies), the Admar restaurant equipment shop opened in 1948 and began to revolutionize how New Yorkers would eat their hotdogs - not to mention pretzels, knishes, and other street grub. But wait a minute, shouldn’t that combination of first names have ended up as “EdMar?” READ ABOUT SOME OF NEW YORK CITY'S CLASSIC CAB COMPANIES. It was Beller’s quick-thinking wife who suggested substituting an “A” for an “E” would place the Continue Reading

Game show gaffes: The top 8 greatest blunders in TV history

When brilliant brains clash for cash on game shows, hilarity ensues. Here are the 8 most memorable blunders in TV game show history: 1) Worst "Wheel of Fortune" contestant ever can't pronounce mythical Greek hero Achilles during College Week Indiana University freshman Julian Batts had the puzzle "Mythological Hero Achilles" all spelled out during his May appearance on College Week. But he butchered the pronunciation, losing a chance at thousands of dollars in the first round. His comically awful performance didn't stop there. The teen also guessed "The World's Fastest Car" on a nearly completed puzzle, when the correct answer was "The World's Fastest Man." And when the completed phrase was "On-The-Spot Decision," Batts shouted "On-The-Spot Dicespin" with just a few characters missing. The Internet calls him the worst "Wheel of Fortune" contestant ever. 2) Woman on "Newlywed Game" says the weirdest place she's had sex is "in the butt" When then-host Bob Eubanks asked a Pennsylvania woman to name the "weirdest place" she's ever "had the urge to make whoopie," the clueless contestant took a long pause before saying, "in the butt, Bob." Eubanks erupts into laughter and tells her he meant a location. "It'll probably be on my tombstone," he said in an interview with the Archive of American Television, while recalling the historic moment. 3) "Family Feud" contestant says 'a gerbil' is an item doctors commonly remove from patients A competitor named Darci rendered host Steve Harvey speechless when she confidently shouted that a gerbil is commonly pulled out of a person by a doctor. She immediately grimaced and shouted, "I didn't say that! I didn't say that!" The response became a sensation on social media. 4) 12-year-old Conn. boy misspells correct answer in “Jeopardy!” Thomas Hurley lost his wager after adding an extra "t" to Continue Reading