Police officers in America are remunerated more overtime if they arrest black men, new court papers have shown.
According to a retired NYPD officer, Pierre Maximilien, officers in Coney Island’s Transit District 34 were told to avoid “soft targets” – a code for whites, Asians and Jews.
They are told to focus on blacks and Hispanics during their patrols of the subways.
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Maximilien’s allegations are part of an ongoing Manhattan federal-court lawsuit brought by NYPD Sgt. Edreweene Raymond and three others who claim police brass retaliated after they spoke up between 2011 and 2015 about a racist quota system governing ticketing and arrests, the New York Post reports.
Maximilien’s former commanding officer, Constantin Tsachas, according to the court record enforced the directives to the officers: that’s targeting blacks and Hispanics.
Tsachas is now the second-highest-ranking transit officer in Brooklyn. Black and Hispanics who didn’t comply with the directives were always punished, Maximilien alleged in the court papers.
“We were taught by Tsachas’ closest lieutenants that we could not give summons to what they called … ‘soft targets,’ ” reads Maximilien’s sworn affidavit. “Instead, it was emphasized that we needed to stop male blacks. Those were the ones Tsachas wanted to go to jail.”
Maximilien’s claims have been backed up by other officers. Notable among them is Aaron Diaz who in his declaration said Tsachas told him “You should write up more black and Hispanic people.”
Also, Daniel Perez claimed he was scolded for “stopping too many Russian and Chinese.”
For instance, Cornell law professor Sheri Lynn Johnson in 1985 after reviewing a dozen mock-jury studies concluded that the “race of the defendant significantly and directly affects the determination of guilt.”
According to Maximilien, white officers who didn’t follow the directives went unpunished but not blacks or Hispanics.
“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 wrote.
The NYPD declined to comment, the New York Post reports, citing pending litigation.
Meanwhile, the City Law Department said in a statement, the allegations in Officer Maximilien’s declaration had been investigated and found to be meritless.
According to a report to the United Nations, African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, and they are more likely to experience lengthy prison sentences.
Also, the report further noted that African-American adults are 5.9 times as likely to be incarcerated than whites and Hispanics are 3.1 times as likely.
As of 2001, one of every three black boys born in that year could expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as could one of every six Latinos—compared to one of every seventeen white boys.
The source of such disparities is deeper and more systemic than explicit racial discrimination.