Officers of color are suing the New York Police Department over alleged mistreatment, after some exposed quotas for the numbers of tickets, summons, or arrests made in predominantly Black and Latino communities.
ThinkProgress reports that the group of 12 Black and Latino officers say they are being harassed and punished for speaking out against quotas and practices that amount to racial profiling. On Monday, the officers filed a class action lawsuit, claiming the police department is violating the New York State’s Labor Law by requiring precincts to fulfill quotas for “summons, tickets or number of arrests.”
In addition to receiving more poor evaluations in comparison to other White officers, the 12 officers say their superiors have threatened them with termination, benefit loss, demotion, or reassignment to other positions. The officers say these actions have been taken to coerce them into meeting quotas in communities of color.
Officer Sandy Gonzalez said she was placed in an unsafe neighborhood because she refused to issue 20 summonses earlier in the month in a Black and Latino area, Think Progress reports.
On Tuesday, Officer Adhyl Polanco claimed he’s experienced unfair treatment since 2009. During that year, he exposed the quota system used by the precinct, as well as alleged corruption throughout the department. He said he was called a “fucking b*tch” by one fellow officer, and put on probation and mental surveillance.
Officer Pedro Serrano said one his superiors called many people in the area where Serrano was placed “animals.” Serrano, who is Puerto Rican, stated that among many violations, he’s witnessed an officer unzip a man’s pants during a search and touch his genitals and buttocks. As a result of his decision to address such behavior, Serrano has received poor evaluations, he says.
Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis released a statement regarding the misconduct controversy:
“There are no numerical enforcement quotas established by the NYPD,” he said. “Performance evaluations are conducted for all department employees based on an assessment of their duties, responsibilities and specific conditions of their assignments.”
The NYPD insists the quota program has stopped. However, in July, city attorney Elinor Sutton filed charges against the NYPD for getting rid of mounds of evidence that would have exposed irregularities in the issuing of quotas.