A former cop with the New York Police Department is calling out the NYPD for allegedly requiring “collar quotas” where they offered higher incentives for the arrest of Black and Hispanic men.
According to a discrimination lawsuit filed on Monday by retired officer Pierre Maximilien, cops who arrested Black and Latino men were rewarded with more overtime. The explosive declaration was brought forth by Sgt. Edwin Raymond and three other NYPD cops part of the NYPD 12, a group who has been boldly calling out the systemic racism that plagues the NYPD.
The lawsuit is part of a long-running case brought forth by a group of Black and Hispanic cops who accuse the NYPD of forcing them to arrest more men of color than other ethnic groups. If they refused, they claim to have been treated harshly and denied promotions.
Asian, Jewish and white people were considered to be “soft targets” who were not to be arrested, the lawsuit states. Cops in that district were required to fill a collar quota where Black and Hispanic officers who didn’t meet expectations were reportedly treated more harshly by then-Commanding Officer Constantin Tsachas, Maximilien writes.
“We were taught by Tsachas’ closest lieutenants that we could not give summons to what they called as ‘soft targets,’” Maximilien writes in his declaration. “The soft targets they were referring to were white, Asian or Jewish people. Instead, it was emphasized that we needed to stop male blacks. Those were the ones Tsachas wanted to go to jail.”
Maximilien retired in 2015 over harsh treatment from Tsachas’ racist retaliation. The 49-year-old says he was reprimanded, with his overtime being cut and he was assigned only to transporting prisoners. He says he was ignored when he tried to reveal the quota system with top NYPD chiefs, the Department of Investigation, and the police unions.
“The utter disregard for civilians of color and their ability to treat them like animals made me second guess who I was actually serving in the NYPD,” he writes. “Tsachas created this racial divide within the department. He rewarded the white officers and punished the minority officers.”
Maximilien detailed the cruel treatment Black and Hispanic officers received for not meeting the quota.
“The supervisors would place the minority officers in punishment posts by ourselves, deny vacation or leave, deny us overtime, change our shifts, give us bogus command disciplines, yell at us in roll call, and give us poor evaluations,” he writes.
However, Maximilien’s declaration, claims white officers received easier discipline when they didn’t meet quota.
“They would get a pass from command,” he writes. “They would write it off as a bad month and place them in areas with partners who were extremely aggressive so they could make the arrest quota.”
Tsachas was promoted to Deputy Inspector in 2016, NY Daily News reports.
The NYPD declined to comment on pending litigation while the city’s Law Department released a statement saying Maximilien’s allegations have no merit.
“The information presented by plaintiffs changes nothing. The NYPD investigated the allegations in Officer Maximilien’s declaration and found them to be meritless. The judge ruled that the city’s production of email evidence was sufficient, despite what plaintiffs now claim. We’ll continue to defend against these baseless allegations,” said law department spokesman Nicholas Paolucci.
Raymond’s lawyer John Scola said the NYPD’s been aware of the accusations about Tsachas for nearly a decade.
“If they had acted appropriately, they wouldn’t have retaliated against my clients with racially motivated punishments. We hope the NYPD take corrective action,” Scola said.
The NYPD continues to deny the use of quotas. But, Maximilien says, despite being banned, the police department uses code names for quotas, including productivity indicators, goals, activity, expectations, conditions and performance goals.
“The NYPD has a lot of internal names for the arrest quota, but they all mean the same thing,” he wrote.
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