An NYPD officer has a federal lawsuit out against the department claiming he was “punished” for not stopping enough black and brown teens in the subways.
Michael Birch reportedly recorded a sit-down meeting with his commanding officer and a lieutenant after receiving a poor evaluation back in 2011.
During the meeting he was “reminded” by his captain, Constantin Tsachas, that majority of the crimes in the subway system were committed by black and Hispanic teens.
Most of Birch’s subway stops, however, reflected that women and white people were the ones ditching fares.
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“You describe to me who’s committing the crimes, you’re fully aware of it and you’re not targeting those people,” Tsachas said on the tape, which was reportedly reviewed by the NY Daily News.
“Almost half the people you see jumping turnstiles are females,” Tsachas scolded. “If you were going to write a report on who’s jumping the turnstiles, you’d say half are females.”
Birch claims he never targeted any specific group and only stopped those he actually saw committing fare evasion.
“If these people (black and Hispanic teens) are not jumping over turnstiles, what am I going to do?” he reportedly argued.
The lawsuit claims that as a result of his “poor” performance he was deprived of overtime, given unpleasant assignments and had to be monitored on duty.
Birch’s attorney Eric Sanders said the higher-ups are jeopardizing the civil rights of the citizens to preserve personal legacies, according to NY Daily News.
It's no secret that U.S. law enforcement has been harshly criticized for racial profiling and mistreatment of minorities and the NYPD is one of the departments scrutinized most heavily by the public for their lack of transparency, but when your own officers start turning against you it's time to make some changes.
Although an NYPD spokesperson said Birch's claims will be "reviewed," it would be a surprise if the department admits to any wrongdoing. Even the Los Angeles Police Department which received more than 1,300 racial profiling complaints refused to own up to their discriminatory practices.
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Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user Dave Hosford