New York City officers were rewarded more overtime if they arrested African-American men, a bombshell declaration submitted by a former NYPD cop alleges.
Retired policeman Pierre Maximilien claims officers in Coney Island’s Transit District 34 were ordered to avoid “soft targets,” meaning whites, Asians and Jews, and instead focus their efforts on Blacks and Hispanics, according to court documents obtained by the New York Post.
The accusations are a part of a larger discrimination suit brought by Sgt. Edwin Raymond and three officers who say the agency’s top brass forced them to arrest Blacks and Hispanics over other groups. Those who did not comply would face the wrath of then-commanding officer Constantin Tsachas. Tsachas remains on the force and was promoted to deputy inspector in 2016, the New York Daily News reports.
“We were taught by Tsachas’ closest lieutenants we couldn’t give summons to what they called … ‘soft targets,’” Maximilien wrote in a sworn affidavit, adding that Black and Hispanic officers were disciplined more harshly than whites for refusing to follow the racist directive.
“Instead, it was emphasized that we needed to stop male blacks. Those were the ones Tsachas wanted to go to jail,” he added.
Maximiliens’s declaration further claims that supervisors retaliated against those who took issue with the racist quota system, placing minority officers on command by themselves and denying them vacation and leave, among other punishments. Meanwhile, white officers were given “a pass.”
“They would write it off as a bad month and place them in areas with partners who were extremely aggressive so they could make the arrest quota,” said Maximilien, who retired from the department in 2015.
The NYPD declined comment on the pending litigation, but has long denied the existence of quotas. However, Maximilien says the department refers to quotas by a series of code names, including performance goals, activity and expectations.
The City Law Department has responded to the lawsuit, calling the former officer’s claims wholly unsubstantiated.
“The NYPD investigated the allegations in Officer Maximilien’s declaration and found them to be meritless,” it said in a statement. “We will continue to defend against these baseless claims.”