The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the NYPD. They allege that Black officers are not promoted in the department’s intelligence division and that a “secret list” keeps the officers from climbing the ranks.
"The NYPD has chosen to cloak promotions in secrecy and give the all-white, high-level supervisors who run the intelligence division unfettered discretion to handpick white detectives for promotions over more qualified African-American detectives," the complaint reads.
According to the filing, the intelligence division has 600 employees, only 35 of whom are African-American and none whose level exceeds sergeant. Of the 161 sergeants, eight are African-American and only six percent of the 224 detectives are Black. The union says the number of Blacks is too low, especially when there are officers who are overqualified and when promotions can come with raises of up to $30,000.
"We want officers that are there by merit, not there because you drink beer with your supervisor or you are friends with the inspector," an unnamed retired officer from the group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement told NY1. "It's a shame that this has to come this, but I think it’s a good way to start the police commissioner to examine this. This has been a problem for years. This is not something new.”
In addition to the complaint, a civil suit may follow.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)