NYPD officers filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the city and the NYPD over alleged mistreatment and unlawful racial profiling. The group is also claiming that officers of color are facing backlash for speaking out.
Amongst the dozen officers behind the lawsuit is Adhyl Polanco, an officer with the NYPD who is filing a separate lawsuit claiming he has been mistreated since bringing the department’s racialized quota system to media attention. Polanco claims his locker has been vandalized, and that he has been subjected to workplace harassment for speaking out against the quota system.
The 12 officers filing the lawsuit Tuesday, all of whom are racial minorities, allege that forcing officers to comply with a ticketing quota disproportionately affects minority officers. These officers say they are “unwilling to perform racially discriminatory and unwarranted enforcement actions against the minority community.”
As the NY Post reports:
“By forcing minority cops to comply with the “illegal quota system,” the city and the NYPD are subjecting black and Latino cops to unfair evaluations and discipline.”
The officers claim they are being punished for not complying with the quota system with threats of termination, poor evaluations, denial of benefits or promotions, and being transferred to less desirable positions.
Polanco filed a class action lawsuit against the NYPD in 2009 after recording a conversation with one of his supervisors revealing unlawful “stop and frisk” orders that pressured officers to meet quotas for ticketing. The use of quotas as consideration for punishment for officers is illegal in New York.
This “stop and frisk” quota has contributed to racial profiling throughout the city. 90 percent of the people stopped by the NYPD between 2002 and 2011 were black or Latino, and a large majority were male. Almost all of the stops resulted in no arrests or summons.
The NYPD has continuously denied that a quota system exists or is being enforced. The suit is being reviewed.
Media Resources: NY Post 9/1/15; NYCLU Data; Think Progress 9/2/15; City Room NY Times Blog 1/13/11; NY Daily News 9/1/15;