An NYPD Highway Division officer says that even though he has met the department's quotas, he's been denied a promotion and generally discriminated against because he is black.
The Daily News reports that Officer Dana Harge has filed complaints with the federal Equal Opportunity Commission and the NYPD, claiming that "racism is routine" in the Queens unit he has served under since 2008.
Harge says that Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored him for making 300 DWI arrests—more than anyone in the Highway Division that year—and that he has consistently exceeded the department's quota of 70 summonses per month, but that his promotion paperwork "mysteriously disappeared," and that he's been subjected to a range of petty disciplinary actions because of his race.
"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," Harge, 40, writes in one of his complaints, which were obtained by the Daily News.
A police spokesman told the paper that the department was reviewing Harge's claims.
African Americans represent only 4% of the officers in the Highway Unit, and 15% of the NYPD as a whole; blacks make up a quarter of New York City's population (and 56% of its police stops).
A few months ago NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told the Guardian, “We have a significant population gap among African American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can’t hire them." Mayor de Blasio later said, “I agree with his analysis."