There may be “thousands” of black and Latino officers facing retaliation from the New York City Police Department for opposing its illegal quota system, a new federal class action claims.
According to the class action suit filed by a group of Black and Hispanic officers, “promotion or job security in the New York City Police Department depends on the number of arrests made or tickets issued.”
The lawsuit revealed that the officers claim they are routinely denied overtime and vacation, demoted to menial posts and even threatened with firing if they don’t meet quotas such as making one arrest and issuing 20 summonses per month.
“At this point, you either come up with the numbers or there is hell to pay,’’ Bronx Officer told The Post.
Polanco has been a courageous voice speaking out against wrongdoing in the department. He became known to the public a few years ago when he informed the department’s Internal Affairs bureau that his supervisors in the Bronx were forcing him to meet ticket quotas and fudge numbers to make the precinct look better — and was rewarded for his efforts by being suspended by the department. He also testified against the department in the stop-and-frisk trial in federal court last year, which resulted in the policy being declared an unconstitutional violation of the rights of Black and Hispanic New Yorkers.
During an interview on Democracy Now, Polanco asked in December how his NYPD colleagues could find fault with Mayor Bill de Blasio for expressing his fears for his biracial son, Dante.
In this lawsuit, Polanco and the other officers say the punishment is racially based.
Officer Pedro Serrano, who also testified against the department in the stop-and-frisk case, says in the suit that he protested to a superior that the Puerto Ricans he was targeting for summonses in his South Bronx precinct couldn’t afford the fines, but was told it was OK because they were “animals.” Serrano was particularly offended because he’s Puerto Rican.
According to Polanco, after he complained about the quotas, he was warned, “If you think one and 20 is breaking your balls, guess what you’ll be doing. You’ll be doing a lot more.”
“Next week, [it’ll be] 25 and one, 35 and one, and until you decide to quit this job and go to work at Pizza Hut, this is what you are going to do until then,” the second supervisor said, according to court papers.
The Post says seven more NYPD traffic cops are about to file a separate class-action federal lawsuit claiming they were denied promotions and punished with no overtime and lost vacation in retaliation for balking at quotas as well.