NYPD Officer Records Captain Pressuring Him To Profile Black Men
BY: NISHA THOMAS
Gawker has recently posted a disturbing audio recording that was provided to them by an NYPD officer who is now being sued by the department for allegedly retaliating against their orders and blowing the whistle on an illegal quota system that has often pressured their officers to profile African-American men. New York transit officer Michael Birch did get his original case dismissed, so now he has filed for an appeal with a higher court.
The supervisor that was heard pressuring Birch on the tape during an August 2012 performance evaluation is said to allegedly be NYPD Captain Constantin Tsachas.
“The conversation just turned completely weird to me, because he’s basically telling me it’s OK to racially profile,” said Birch, who went into the meeting expecting a routine evaluation. “Two male Blacks … so you’re telling me you only saw two male Blacks jump the turnstile?” Tsachas is overheard criticizing Birch during the recording for only stopping two African-American men out of 54 people.
Some may speculate that Tsachas thought he was speaking to a white officer, given the persona of Birch.
“I was shocked. I was not only shocked, I was mad. My last name is Birch. I look white. They didn’t realize I was a Puerto Rican kid, and they’re just saying this to me like it’s OK. It’s OK, we’re amongst friends,” said Birch.
Birch’s attorney in the case, John Scola, also represents a group of 12 other NYPD officers of color who have sued the city over their alleged policing quotas, and they are fighting the larger trend that is disproportionately affecting minorities in the city of New York, as well as many other major cities.
“The targeting of minorities by the NYPD has caused so many problems throughout our city yet the NYPD continues to promote officers who engage in these activities,” Scola said.
Birch says that he has come to the realization that enough is enough!
“I don’t want to be stopped because I’m Puerto Rican,” he added. “I want to get stopped because I did something wrong…It’s very hard to have a job where the whole public is against you, including your bosses. And when you actually try to do something right, they don’t care,” said Birch. “I can’t wait to get away from this place.”
Wow! What are your thoughts on this situation?