A Haitian-born police officer from New York is suing his white supervisors following allegations that they routinely bullied him and his colleagues in the Times Square Command.
The New York Daily News reports that Officer Steeve Juillet filed a suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on June claiming that his supervisor, named in the suit as Sgt. James Fills, mocked his accent and compared him to a homeless person while giving him punitive job assignments such as transporting prisoners.
Task such as these make it more of a challenge for officers to meet their arrest and summonses quotas, according to the Daily News. Juillet said because of this, he was subsequently given unfair job evaluations.
In court documents obtained by the outlet, it highlighted a 2017 incident in which Sgt. Sasa Maric told cops not to ask Juillet for directions because “he does not speak English.” Maric allegedly would also point to homeless people and say, “There goes Juillet.”
Elsewhere, Juillet stated that he was essentially punished after responding to a call of a man attempting to jump from a building. He says Sgt. Maric was furious at having to file a report regarding the incident. He was later assigned to a foot post. The suit said this usually happened to minority officers who went against the rules.
Julliet’s attorney, John Scola, believes “most discrimination cases are a form of bullying” and thinks “bullying is widespread in the Times Square Command particularly for Black officers.”
The document also claimed that Sgt. Fills bullied another officer who later shot himself to death in his apartment in April. Juillet said the officer, who was not identified, confided in him before taking his own life that same day. Juillet’s claim states that during roll call the following morning Sgt. Miguel Brand, a Times Square supervisory officer, demanded an end to the bullying.
The New York Police Department launched an internal investigation into whether the police officer, who was white, took his own life as a result of the alleged bullying. However, a spokesperson for the department told the outlet that investigators have yet to present evidence that the late officer was indeed bullied.
However, the 10-year-vet disputed those claims and stated that when he was interviewed about his co-worker’s death, he was later ordered to undergo a departmental psychiatric examination because of his emotional state. He eventually was cleared and returned to full duty status.
Still, Juillet believes the department is seeking revenge for him speaking out. He told reporters, “But now everyone knows this is what they did to me. Of course, no one is going to want to say anything.” He added, “They’re afraid they’ll do the same thing to them.”