An explosive new deposition exposes claims of racial profiling, and bigotry all at the hands of top NYPD officials. According to testimony released in a federal discrimination lawsuit, high-ranking supervisors of the department’s gun unit, treated white suspects more fairly than their black counterparts.
The sworn deposition, taken from the testimony of three members of the firearms suppression unit —one retired first-grade detective, and two current NYPD detectives— details how Capt. James Coan and Lt. Daniel Davin called accused black criminals “f—ing animals,” among other epithets.
Davin is accused of routinely using the N-word , making for a hostile environment for black detectives, as well as suspected minority criminals involved in gun trafficking. One detective also testified that Davin encouraged his team to kill black criminals, if necessary. “If you have to shoot a n—er, do what you gotta do,” recounted Detective Al Hawkins.
For his part, Coan instructed his team on the best ways to kill. “You make sure if you have to shoot, you shoot them in the head. That way there’s one story.” Not surprisingly Coan denied the allegations, but his reputation precedes him. Over the last 20 years, the NYPD vet has been involved in five shootings, two of which were fatal. He also admitted to killing a pit bull, but joked that the dog failed to take legal action.
Police brutality in the black community is nothing news, but given the heightened sensitivity surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin, more stories of racial profiling continue to be unearthed. In March, Tyler Perry revealed that he was pulled over for being black, while leaving his studio in Atlanta, but did not seek a lawsuit. Similarly, prosecutors in White Plains, N.Y. announced the opening of an investigation into the shooting death of Kenneth Chamberlin, a 68-year-old veteran that was gunned down in his apartment by police officers, after allegedly attacking them with a hatchet and a knife
In the case of Davin and Coan, this isn’t the first time that their behavior has been called into question. Last month the duo testified in a Brooklyn Federal Court, regarding a discrimination suit brought on by Detective Debra Lawson, who claimed that minority members of the police force were intentionally barred from receiving promotions and good assignments.
Both Davin and Coan were allowed to keep their jobs, but are now working different positions.
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