The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of black detectives in the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division, alleging racial discrimination in hiring and promotion practices. The complaint accuses the division of a “secretive and standardless promotions policy” in which most officers scheduled to be promoted are white.
The NYPD is denying the allegations. “There’s no ‘secret’ list,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told CNN affiliate NY1. “There’s a formal review process that measures job performance, years in rank, etc., in which minorities departmentwide have fared better than at any other time in recognition of their meritorious performance.”
African Americans make up 18 percent of NYPD officers but only 6 percent of the Intelligence Division. No African Americans currently hold a rank above sergeant. Most serve as third-grade detectives, which is just one level higher than a police officer. The pay difference between a third-grade detective and first grade is between $15,000 and $30,000.
“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 promotion over more qualified African-American detectives,” the complaint reads.
Many of the detectives in the complaint claim that they were passed over numerous times for promotion despite having excellent records. A civil suit is expected to be filed soon by the black NYPD detectives.
We have seen similar cases around the country, involving other police and fire departments. Minority officers should be able to rise up through the ranks with hard work and dedication, but it seems that some agencies aren’t rewarding these individuals with the proper positions they deserve. We’re glad that these complaints are receiving attention; hopefully they will also yield changes in hiring and promotion practices.
Read more at CNN.