The recent murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have once again put the spotlight on not only police brutality across the country, but also the subject of racial profiling—something authorities have long maintained wasn’t part of their practice. An audio recording of a conversation between a police officer and his supervising captain reveals that not only is racial profiling part of the job, it’s damn near mandatory.
Raw Story reports:
The recording was made in August 2012 during a performance evaluation of New York transit officer Michael Birch. He was expecting a routine evaluation, but instead he told Gawker, “the conversation just turned completely weird to me. Because he’s basically telling me it’s OK to racially profile.”
In the recording, his supervising captain can be heard criticizing him for only stopping two black men out of 54 people.
“Two male blacks,” the man’s voice can be heard saying. “So you’re telling me you only saw two male blacks jump the turnstile?”
Birch is currently suing the department, claiming he has been retaliated against for being a whistleblower on an illegal quota system. While his original case was dismissed, he’s filed an appeal with a higher court, Gawker reports. The New York Daily News reported on the tape but didn’t publish it at the time. The Daily News says the supervisor in the tape is NYPD Capt. Constantin Tsachas.
An excerpt from the recording demonstrates that officer Birch’s supervising captain wants Birch to focus mainly on adolescent Blacks and Hispanic males.
Commanding Officer: Who commits the crimes in the city?
Birch: Who commits the crimes? Well, it’s mostly teenagers, anywhere between the ages of 15 and 19, mostly male blacks and Hispanics.
Who are you stopping?
Everybody. I stop everybody.
Fifty-four TABs up to 8/20. Twenty-five of those are female. Half.
Like I said, I stop everybody. I’m not targeting anybody.
You just told me who the bad guys are.
Yeah, I know that. But there’s also other people who are committing violations as well. I’m not saying that there’s not violations being made.
The male blacks, that you told me commit the crimes—
Plenty of people that I write summonses to are male blacks and male Hispanics.
You stopped two male blacks.
Not for the whole year. You’re telling me for the whole year I only stopped two male blacks on summonses?
8/20. From January 1st to August 20th. Fifty-four TABs: two male blacks, seven Hispanics, seven other, ten white, three Asian. So where are you targeting the perps that you just told me?
Like I said, if I don’t see a perp jumping over the turnstile, what am I supposed to do to him?
Props to all the police that go out of their way to do the right thing and lift the veil off of devious police practices. Since he’s suing, doing the right thing clearly comes with a cost.
Check out the audio in it’s entirety below and let us know what steps authorities should take now that this has been exposed.
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