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NYPD Officer Files Federal Lawsuit Alleging Mistreatment After He Complained About Racial Disparities

A black New York police sergeant — who has twenty years of service, including ten years working in the NYPD’s Risk Management Bureau — has filed a lawsuit a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department alleging he has treated like a “rookie cop” ever since he pointed out racial disparities in the way evaluations were given to his fellow officers.

 Sgt. Cyress Smith, 50, told the New York Daily News that he noticed there seemed to be two sets of rules — one for white officers and one for minority officers. When he noticed white officers being given superior evaluations and promotions over minority officers, he complained. That’s when he says the department turned on him and began transferring him into a series low-level jobs usually reserved for rookie cops or those under investigation with the department.

Smith was first transferred to mail duty, and then — against his doctor’s advice — he was transferred to commands that had unhealthy working conditions for someone with 9/11-related asthma, which Smith suffers from.

The final straw came last month when Smith was transferred to the Viper Unit, which is tasked with monitoring the surveillance cameras at housing projects.

Smith told the Daily News that he considers the promotion to be a slap in the face. The Viper Unit is usually staffed by officers that are under investigation. He said that he cannot in good conscience recommend the NYPD as a career.

“It’s a story of racism, inequality and abuse,” Smith said. “My daughter recently showed interest in the police department, and I’m saying ‘No way — as you father, I’d like you to pursue other options.’ If they are treating me badly, what stories do I have to tell my daughter?”

The NYPD declined to answer the Daily News’ questions about the transfers, and would not comment on the federal lawsuit Smith has filed.

Smith told the Daily News he believes the lawsuit will be the end of his 20-year career with the department because win or lose, he will be considered a pariah.

He believes the transfers are calculated and have a motive behind them.

“They’re trying to force me to retire,” Smith said. “But I’m going to retire on my own terms.”

source: the root

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