The auditorium at 1 Police Plaza was bustling yesterday as the promotional ceremony was getting underway for hundreds of officers being promoted to Detective and Sergeant. The NYPD band played with pride as people made their way to their seats and a small group of media standing by in the corner where I was standing.
To commence the ceremony an inspiring video was played with heart warming music showing the heroic work of the NYPD and the high standard they set. The video, narrated by Tom Selleck, spoke about the changes made in the department by Commissioner William Bratton towards making policing in alignment with community service and officers getting to know the people of the community more. The video told how the NYPD brought the crime rate down to it’s lowest level in 50 years. Tom Selleck said the NYPD has implemented training that emphasizes communication and de-escalation.
While the NY Daily News and the NY Post articles highlight the event yesterday as Bratton giving his last ceremony and getting emotional, there was no mention of Edwin Raymond of the #NYPDBlue12 getting promoted.
The suit accuses the department of violating multiple laws and statutes, including a 2010 state ban against quotas, and the 14th Amendment, which outlaws racial discrimination. The asks for damages and an injunction against the practice. Plaintiffs have provided courts with evidence suggesting the department uses quotas, however, this is the first time the department has been sued for violating the 2010 state ban against the practice.
The lawsuit claims that commanders now use slang terms to sidestep the quota ban, pressuring officers to ‘‘be more proactive’’ or to ‘‘get more activity’’ instead of blatantly ordering them to bring in 2 arrests and 9 tickets by month’s end. ‘‘It’s as if the ban doesn’t exist,’’ Raymond says.
Over a two year period, Raymond recorded nearly a dozen conversations with officials attempting to change the everyday practices of the NYC Police Department.
Raymond claims that the practices are contradictory of the department’s claims of ushering in a new era of fairer and smarter policing. August 2015, Raymond became part of an already existing class-action lawsuit with 11 other officers on behalf of other mostly minority officers on the force,
Raymond’s father was a Haitian immigrant what was barely able to finish elementary school. He was able to take care of his children until Raymond’s mother died of cancer then, lost his job at a paper factory sending him into a depression he would not recover from.
Raymond and his brother went to bed hungry and the neighbor, Florise, a single mother from Haiti, who Raymond would come to regard as is Aunt and her kid his cousins, would give them some dinner.
Councilman Jammani Williams and retired NYPD detective Graham Weatherspoon also attended the ceremony and spoke outside at the press conference in support of Edwin Raymond’s courage.
Raymond speaking at the press conference thanked all those for attending went on to say, “THIS WASN’T AN EASY TASK. I WAS RAILROADED FOR DOING WHAT’S RIGHT. EVERYTHING THE DEPARTMENT CLAIMS IT’S TRYING TO BRING, I EMBODIED AND YET, I SUFFERED FOR IT. TO ME THAT SHOWS THE INSINCERITY OF WHAT THE DEPARTMENT SAYS”.
See the video of Raymond receiving his promotion and the full press conference at the top of this article.