16-year veteran of the New York Police Department Michael Birch has recently filed a lawsuit against the NYPD claiming he was disciplined for not targeting Black and Hispanics while on patrol in New York’s subways. Birch spoke with the New York Daily News and revealed that he secretly recorded phone conversations with Captain Constantin Tsachas while working out of District 34 in Brooklyn, NY back in 2011. Birch alleges that Tsachas gave him a poor performance review because the Captain believed that Black and Hispanic teenagers were the demographic most prone to hopping turnstiles but Michael Birch’s stops caught mostly women and White people. Due to this, he believes that he was not given promotions.
In the phone conversation, Tsachas implored Birch to pay more attention to minorities.
You describe to me who’s committing the crimes, you’re fully aware of it and you’re not targeting those people,” Tsachas said on the tape, which was reviewed by the Daily News. “Almost half the people you see jumping turnstiles are females,” Tsachas griped. “If you were going to write a report on who’s jumping the turnstiles, you’d say half are females. If these people (black and Hispanic teens) are not jumping over turnstiles, what am I going to do?” he argued.
You’re like the fire department. You’re just waiting,” the captain said. “The proactive is not there . . . putting your hands on a limited amount of people and not the right people.
Another officer chimed in as well:
If you see a group of kids that meet that description, you’re not being racist and you’re not, what’s the word I’m looking for, stereotyping male blacks,” the lieutenant said. “I’m not saying you have to rip his coat and pants off.
Eric Sanders, Birch’s attorney says that the civil rights of citizens was violated in order to turn profit. Birch was soon transferred to the 79th Precinct in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn where he had no performance issues.
This is not the first time that officers have spoken out against the NYPD. Police commissioner Bill Bratton was sued by a dozen Black and Hispanic officers who claim they were forced to make “discriminatory and unwarranted” arrests.