Haitian American New York Police Department officer Edwin Raymond had his eyes set on becoming a sergeant. Having placed eighth out of 6,000 candidates who took the test, Raymond was confident about his chances.
Despite his optimism about his performance, his superiors thought otherwise and passed him over for a promotion three times in one year. Something simply was not adding up. He would soon realize that his promotion was denied, not because of poor performance, but because of his refusal to follow a banned procedure that the department was still putting to use.
“They purposefully slandered me on paper,” Raymond said. Every time his superiors would have a conversation with him about his review and arrest quotas, they would start off with the disclaimer that they didn’t believe in the practice either, but was forced to go along with it.
“The sergeant told me straight up this is the purpose of these evaluations,” he said.
Last month, Raymond opened up to The New York Times about his experiences and the unethical practices taking place in the NYPD. Since his story broke, the community has rallied behind him, calling for an investigation into his allegations. He is being revered in the community for his courage to stand up alone to the NYPD.
“Officer Raymond is doing what 90 percent of the NYPD does not have the guts to do,” Jeff Higgins, a Haitian American field training officer for the NYPD, and author of Diffusing the Bomb, said. “If he and all the other plaintiffs win the civil class-action lawsuit, everyone is going to profit from it.”
In December 2015, Raymond became the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the city and police department. The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York court, alleges violation of their rights by “punishing and retaliating” against the officers for “speaking out against the quota.” Raymond and the officers were given “negative evaluations” and denied “upgrades and promotions” among other punitive actions.
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