NYPD Officers Sue Saying They’re Being Punished For Refusing To Discriminate

Police officers salute as the hearse of New York city police officer Rafael Ramos drives along his funeral procession route in the Glendale section of Queens, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, in New York. Ramos and his partner, officer Wenjian Liu, were killed Dec. 20 as they sat in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street. The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
New York Police Department officers (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Think Progress) – More than two years after a class action lawsuit exposed the quota policy behind the NYPD’s rampant use of stop-and-frisk, new lawsuits filed this week allege the system requiring officers to make a certain number of arrests and issue a specified number of tickets and summons, is still in effect. And officers of color are threatened and punished for speaking out against it.

For years, the de facto quota policies in the city have contributed to racial profiling in the form of unlawful stops. Between 2002 and 2011, 90 percent of the people subjected to stops were black or Latino. Close to 90 percent resulted in no arrests or summons, and the majority of arrests — made as a result of the stops — were for marijuana.

In a class action lawsuit filed Monday, 12 black and Latino officers claim the NYPD is violating New York State’s Labor Law by implementing precinct quotas for issuing “summons, tickets or number of arrests” and penalizing officers of color who refuse to follow the discriminatory policy. They are harassed by their peers and superiors, “threatened with termination,” denied benefits, and transferred to less desirable positions. The officers are also given poorer evaluations than white cops, who more willingly target communities of color, as a way to force them to meet the quotas.


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