A recording of an NYPD officer appearing to pressure a transit officer to specifically target black men has just been released by Gawker.
The recording was provided to the New York Daily News for a story released in January, but the actual audio was not released to the public until now. Although the full recording is 36 minutes long, only a two-minute excerpt has been released. New York transit officer Michael Birch said the recording took place in August 2012 during a performance evaluation. “The conversation just turned completely weird to me,” Birch said. “Because he’s basically telling me it’s OK to racially profile. Birch is speaking with then-captain Constantin Tsachas in the recording, who was recently promoted to deputy inspector. An unidentified lieutenant can also be heard during one exchange.
Birch also filed a federal lawsuit against the city and NYPD officers last January, saying that he was punished for giving his concerns about what he saw as an illegal quota system. Birch claims that he was denied overtime and given less desirable assignments as a result of his “poor performance.” “It’s very hard to have a job where the whole public is against you, including your bosses. And when you actually try to do something right, they don’t care,” Birch said. “I can’t wait to get away from this place.” Birch’s case was dismissed by a judge, but he has since appealed to a higher court. He has also joined other officers with the “NYPD 12” in a class-action suit that accuses the NYPD of implementing an illegal quota system that disproportionately.
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