26 Jun 2013

Press Statement Re NYPD English-only Policy – June 25, 2013

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P.O. BOX 02-0120, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(646)772-3728 / (866)579-5809
www.NLOAUS.org / Email: ChairNLOA@aol.com

The New York Police Department implemented a English-only policy without a clear understanding of how it could be used in a discriminatory manner and could create a hostile work environment for its Latino Officers and civilian employees.  The comments by Kim Royster of DCPI – NYPD showed the underlying purpose of this English-only policy and fueled the fire for Latinos to continue being targeted.  Today they are targeting Latinos; tomorrow it will be officers of Haitian, Asian or South Asian descent.  It is a policy that targets anyone who speaks a language other than English.

We are calling on 1st Deputy Commissioner Rafael Pineiro and Chief of Department Philip Banks, who symbolize and represent the diversity of NYPD, to address this issue both personally and professionally with Police Commissioner Kelly.    

In all the cases regarding this policy, the rules were being enforced as retaliation against officers who filed formal discrimination complaints or voiced verbal complaints.  Of the officers who have come forward, all are Latina women.

The NYPD claims the rule was passed due to a need for public safety and clear communication in emergency situations. But the fact is, the NYPD cannot point out one incident where officers speaking Spanish or any other language presented a problem regarding public safety or critical communications.

This is simply a “back room” and “good old boy” enforcement of a phantom policy that is not written in any Police Department Manual (Patrol Guide, Operations Order, Administrative Guide or Interim Order). It is nothing more than a false pretense to discriminate and retaliate against multilingual officers, with the most recent cases targeting female Hispanics.

Officer Guzman’s case was clear retaliation by Lt. Richard J. Khalaf.  The Lieutenant should be disciplined, the formal reprimand should be removed from Officer Guzman’s personnel folder, and the NYPD should protect Officer Guzman from further retaliation.

We are calling on all officers, supervisors and members of the NYPD who have witnessed and been subjected to this type of retaliation to come forward now.

We would also like to inform First Deputy Commissioner Pineiro that we will also defend him should he be written up or disciplined for speaking to others in Spanish.

Anthony Miranda
Executive Chairman NLOA