A New York City police officer said in a federal lawsuit he was denied overtime and given unpleasant assignments because he did not stop enough Hispanic and black teenagers in the Brooklyn subways, the New York Daily News reported. New York City Transit Police Officer Michael Birch allegedly recorded a conversation in secret with NYPD Capt. Constantin Tsachas, in which the commanding officer told Birch that while most of his stops were of whites and women, most of city’s subway crimes were committed by Hispanic and black teenagers.
“You describe to me who’s committing the crimes, you’re fully aware of it and you’re not targeting those people,” Tsachas reportedly said on a recording reviewed by the Daily News.
Birch’s evaluation came in 2011 while Raymond Kelly was NYPD commissioner. The stop-and-frisk policy of the department during Kelly’s tenure as commissioner has been criticized for being a form of racial profiling, the Associated Press reported. While Kelly was commissioner — retiring from the post in 2013 — NYPD officers stopped and questioned some 5 million people, 87 percent of whom were Hispanic or black.
Birch, a 44-year-old who has been with the NYPD for 16 years, said he was not trying to target any specific group. Tsachas said to Birch, who has since been transferred to another Brooklyn precinct, in the recording that he should hide while watching the subway turnstiles.
The NYPD deferred comment on the lawsuit to the New York City Law Department, which said it would review the allegations. In September, 12 Hispanic and black NYPD officers sued New York and their own department saying their supervisors set arrest quotas for minority communities, the New York Post reported.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 4, 2016
One of the officers, Adhyl Polanco, said he was chastised by fellow police officers for complaining over racially motivated enforcement. An NYPD spokesman said at the time quotas are not enforced by the police force.