Tuskegee Graduate, Mark Shannon, says he Was Rejected by the NYPD Even Though he Has a Clean Record

© Craig Warga/Bloomberg The New York Police Department Times Square substation in New York. Craig Warga/Bloomberg
© Craig Warga/Bloomberg The New York Police Department Times Square substation in New York. Craig Warga/Bloomberg

When Police Commissioner Bill Bratton talks about adding more African-Americans to the NYPD, Mark Shannon is all ears. 

Shannon, 29, spent the last five years pursuing a childhood dream of becoming a cop. He’s a cum laude graduate of Tuskegee University, a substitute teacher in the city school system — and a black man.

But Shannon said a pair of long-dismissed assault charges scuttled his hopes of joining the force despite the NYPD’s announced effort to increase its minority presence.

“It’s the complete opposite of what Bratton is saying,” Shannon told the Daily News in his Harlem home. “He is out of touch. The NYPD is not attacking the problem. The NYPD is dismissing people without even meeting them.”

The rejection letter received earlier this year by Shannon made reference to law enforcement run-ins, although neither amounted to much of anything.

The first, a May 2002 arrest for assault, was dismissed five months later after Shannon explained that he was defending his 14-year-old brother against an attacker.

The second bust, in March 2008, was dismissed the next day as a family dispute.

“The grand jury dismissed them both because of the facts of the cases,” he said. “I don’t even have a parking ticket.”

But the NYPD, in a single-page form letter sent to Shannon last month, declared he was “not qualified for the position of Police Officer.”

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Source: New York Daily News | Kerry Burke, Larry Mcshane

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