‘Collars for Dollars,’ NYPD Snagged in Discrimination Suit which Targeted Blacks and Latinos

“Collars for dollars” was a common practice among the Transit District 34 officers of the New York Police Department (NYPD). The practice has now resulted in a lawsuit, according to the New York Daily News.

Five police officers, now-retired Pierre Maximilien, Sgt. Edwin Raymond and three other officers reportedly filed a discrimination lawsuit against the NYPD on Monday after accusing the department of discrimination against minority officers who failed to arrest Black and Latino men under the arrest quotas.

The officers who met the quotas were compensated with more overtime.

Maximilien detailed the “collars for dollars” in the suit according to the Daily News. He alleged that Black and Latino officers were often denied promotions and reprimanded if they didn’t comply with then-commanding officer Constantin Tsachas’ orders.

“The supervisors would place the minority officers in punishment posts by ourselves, deny vacation or leave, deny us overtime, change our shifts, give us bogus command disciplines, yell at us in roll call and give us poor evaluations, the Daily News reported.

He also wrote that white officers weren’t castigated in the same way.

“They would get a pass from command,” he wrote. “They would write it off as a bad month and place them in areas with partners who were extremely aggressive so they could make the arrest quota.”

According to The Grio, Maximilien retired from the NYPD in 2015 over the “Collars for Dollars” practice after repeatedly filing grievances that seemingly fell on deaf ears.

Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the law department, said the claims didn’t have any merit.

“The information presented by plaintiffs changes nothing. The NYPD investigated the allegations in Officer Maximilien’s declaration and found them to be meritless. The judge ruled that the city’s production of email evidence was sufficient, despite what plaintiffs now claim,” he told the Daily News.

The Daily News also reported that Tsachas was never reprimanded or found guilty of any misconduct and was even promoted to Deputy Inspector in 2016.

Despite the NYPD’s claims of not being guilty of misconduct or racial discrimination, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has documented cases which it has fought against the department.


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