If ever there was an effective argument that conservatives should be using against Democrats when it comes to the black community, this story is it. The New York Police Department, despite being under the governance of the party that claims to care about the needs of black Americans, is being accused by multiple police officers of mandating racist policing practices.
The New York Times published a report on six NYPD officers who are filing a discrimination lawsuit against the agency claiming that one of its top commanders forced them, and other law enforcement personnel, to specifically target black and Hispanic New Yorkers using the subway system for fines and arrests between 2011 and 2015. Their superior officer also discouraged them from targeting white and Asian passengers. Several officers have provided sworn statements supporting the plaintiffs’ claim that Constantin Tsachas, who was a commander of 100 officers charged with patrolling the subway system, compelled officers to engage in racial profiling.
Tsachas, who now serves as the second-in-command of the law enforcement group enforcing the law in the subways, is accused of telling his officers to focus their efforts on black and Hispanic subway passengers. Officer Daniel Perez told The New York Times that he remembers the commander telling him: “You are stopping too many Russian and Chinese.”
Aaron Diaz, another NYPD officer said that the commander told him that he “should write more black and Hispanic people.”
Another officer said he resigned in 2015 because he became “tired of hunting Black and Hispanic people because of arrest quotas.”
The officers suing the NYPD also claim that they experienced retaliation because they objected to what they say is a longstanding quota system for arrests and fines. They argued that these punitive measures were targeted primarily towards blacks and Hispanics. The data seems to back up the claims of the plaintiffs. The New York Times provided some numbers:
“Between October 2017 and June 2019, black and Hispanic people, who account for slightly more than half the population in New York City, made up nearly 73 percent of those who got a ticket for fare evasion and whose race was recorded. They also made up more than 90 percent of those who were arrested, rather than given a ticket.”
Of course, some might ask whether or not blacks and Hispanics were more likely to dodge subway fares or commit other crimes. According to the statements of the officers on the ground, it does not seem likely that this is the case.
The officers providing affidavits stated that differing policing standards would be applied to different stations across the district. “Tsachas would get angry if you tried to patrol subway stations in predominantly white or Asian neighborhoods,” said Officer LaForce in his statement.
Officer Diaz, who claimed that Tsachas told him he should be giving more tickets to “black and Hispanic people,” explained that while patrolling predominantly Chinese neighborhoods, he had arrested a significant number of residents for “doubling up” as they went through the turnstiles. Others echoed his statements, and also said that the commander pushed them to come up with reasons to stop black passengers, especially ones with tattoos, to check them for warrants.
Corey Grable, a police union official, also gave a deposition in the lawsuit. He recounted an interaction with Tsachas in which he complained about an officer who tended to go after “soft targets.” Grable, who didn’t understand the commander’s meaning, asked if he meant “old ladies with minor offenses?” Tsachas responded, “No, Asians.” Grable stated that he asked: “Would you have been more comfortable if these guys were black or Hispanic?” According to the deposition, Tsachas responded by saying “yes.”
Lieutenant Edwin Raymond, one of the officers suing the department, stated that the commander blocked his promotion, giving him a low evaluation score as retaliation for not making enough arrests. He recounted a 2015 conversation in which the commander gave him an example of the type of arrest he did not want: “a 42-year-old Asian woman with no identification arrested on a charge of fare beating.”
“That’s not going to fly,” Tsachas said.
When Raymond pointed out that considering race when decided who to target is unconstitutional, the commander quickly corrected himself, saying that his remarks “didn’t come out the way it’s supposed to.”
Well, there you have it. A number of NYPD police officers confirming what many already believe about the city’s law enforcement apparatus. While the lawsuit has not yet been decided, this is not the type of story that should be ignored. The NYPD is not the only police department in a Democrat-controlled city that has been accused of racism and corruption.
Even as you read this, cities like Baltimore and Chicago are dealing with corruption issues among their law enforcement. And it is typically blacks and Hispanics who are the victims of this corruption. Many on the right have been hesitant to criticize the police in the past — but it is unnecessary. We know that the majority of police officers across the country are not corrupt — but should we avoid casting light on the ones who are? After all, it is these rotten apples that give decent officers a bad name, isn’t it?
Perhaps it is time for more of us to call out the Democratic leadership of these cities that allow unchecked corruption to run rampant in their police departments. The lack of accountability has created an environment in which crooked cops can act with impunity. When it comes to black voters, it is one of the biggest areas of resentment. Perhaps more of us should continue drawing attention to the Democrats’ complicity. It might be one of the arguments that help conservatives connect more with minority voters.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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