The system is not broken. It was built this way and needs all of our awareness and action in order to change. “I got tired of hunting Black and Hispanic people because of arrest quotas,” one former officer, Christopher LaForce, said in his affidavit, explaining his decision to retire in 2015.
In the affidavits, the officers said that different enforcement standards applied to different stations across Transit District 34, which spanned stations across South Brooklyn: Brooklyn’s Chinatown in Sunset Park; neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish communities; a corner of Flatbush that is home to many Caribbean immigrants; and the Russian enclave around Brighton Beach. “Tsachas would get angry if you tried to patrol subway stations in predominately white or Asian neighborhoods,” Mr. LaForce said in his affidavit. He added that the commander would redirect officers to stations in neighborhoods with larger black and Hispanic populations.
Mr. Diaz, who retired from the Police Department last year, described in his affidavit how on one occasion then-Captain Tsachas seemed irritated at him for having stopped several Asian people for fare evasion and told him he should be “stopping more black and Hispanic people.” At the time, Officer Diaz said, he was assigned to the N Line, which passes through neighborhoods with large numbers of Chinese-Americans. He had arrested multiple residents of that neighborhoods for doubling up as they went through the turnstiles, according to his affidavit.
Other officers described similar experiences. Some of the officers claimed in affidavits that Inspector Tsachas urged his officers to come up with reasons to stop black men, especially those with tattoos, and check them for warrants.”