A white officer is suing her Black lieutenant, accusing the commander of relentless mocking and harassment over her interracial relationship with an African-American man.
In a $15 million notice of claim filed this week, Officer Vanessa Weinbel alleges Lt. Rasheena Huffman made several disparaging remarks about her, including that Black men only liked her because she looked like a “Kardashian chick” and that if she and her boyfriend got pregnant, their children would come out “confused,” according to documents obtained by The New York Daily News.
Huffman, who’s currently assigned to the NYPD’s Housing Bureau, is also accused of making “racially and sexually offensive” comments toward Weinbel – particularly about her rear end.
“I was sick and humiliated,” Weinbel, 33, told the newspaper Tuesday. “I was shocked that someone could think these kinds of things. I don’t really look at anything as color.”
“To hear that coming out of anyone’s mouth was disgusting,” she added.
When Huffman learned Weinbel was dating a Black man, she scoffed at the idea and said “he probably isn’t even Black,” the notice of claim alleges. Months later, the lieutenant asked Weinbel if she’d heard the news report about a knife-wielding man who attacked a mixed-race couple. Huffman said the officer was “lucky” the suspect didn’t see Wienbel and her boyfriend.
“The only thing they hate worse than Black people are interracial relationships,” Huffman said, according to the complaint. “They’re tired of seeing Black men with white women. So you should consider yourself lucky because you probably would’ve been shot up first.”
Not only did Huffman suggest that Black men only date white women because “they’re submissive” and compliant but said races should stick with their own or else “(their) kids would come out messed up.”
“They won’t know who they are or where they come from,” the lieutenant said, allegedly. “The government will have to create a new box on the U.S. Census form labeled ‘confused because (Weinbel’s) child can’t mark Black or white.”
Huffman also said Weinbel likely “wouldn’t be able to comb her own daughter’s hair.”
According to the claim of notice, Wienbel suffered harassment at the hands of her lieutenant for several months. She eventually took her complaints to a superior, who did nothing and told her to “stop taking everything so personal.”
“The unfortunate thing is that (the NYPD) does not seem to take racial discrimination and harassment seriously,” said Weinbel’s attorney, Eric Sanders. “This thing is occurring over and over again with the same cast of characters.”
The officer later filed a complaint with the NYPD’s Equal Employment Opportunity office, however, the case was closed due to lack of evidence, the New York Daily News reported. Weinbel said she still wants Huffman to be held accountable.
Huffman also filed a complaint in retaliation, accusing Weinbel of wearing clothes that were “too revealing.” She even gossiped to another officer that Weinbel was trying to “seduce male officers with the size of her butt,” court documents revealed.
The NYPD has yet to comment on the forthcoming lawsuit. The city’s Law Department said it’s still reviewing the notice.