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NYPD Cop Blows Whistle on Departmental Racism

A Black NYPD police officer said “racism is routine” in the department’s Highway Division, according to the New York Daily News.

Officer Dana Harge, 40, said the elite unit has a quota of 70 summonses per month and has launched a federal complaint against the NYPD.

“Any officer not making his quota can be given inconvenient tours of duty, a bad car to work with and even an involuntary transfer out of Highway, something which bodes badly for the officer’s career,” Harge claims in his complaint. “Many of the actions taken against me were motivated by racism and were intended to prevent me from making my quota and would have resulted in the desired end of an involuntary transfer.”

Harge filed the discrimination complaint last month with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also filed a complaint in May with the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.

An NYPD spokesman confirmed with the paper the legitimacy of the complaint, but did not comment further on the cop’s allegations.

Harge, who described his work on the force as “stellar,” was promoted to detective. But according to the complaint, a higher-up had a hand in his paperwork “mysteriously” disappearing, although there is a log number for the recommendation, according to the complaint.

“In May of 2015 I came in with 82 summonses, which is well above the quota of 70 per month…After that I was not allowed to use an unmarked (car) to get me to stop being successful and to get me transferred out of highway,” he states in the complaint.

The complaint says the highway unit is just about all-white. Just two Black cops are on Highway 3, and citywide the Highway Unit is just 4 percent Black, the complaint states.

Harge says he was discriminated against in the following ways: by being written up for minor violations nine or more times in the past 15 months, by being treated differently than white officers, his sergeant was ordered to downgrade his job evaluation in December, he was barred from driving paralyzed detective Steven McDonald, a move that is considered to be a great honor in the unit and he was told that he would no longer be assigned to an area because it had a predominantly Black population.

“Based on the very low number of African Americans who are in Highway and how badly I have been treated it is not hard for me to conclude Highway is racist,” Harge states in the complaint.

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