NYPD officer files lawsuit aimed at changing Nassau County police hiring process
An NYPD officer filed a lawsuit Thursday against Nassau County, the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau Civil Service Commission over accusations of racial discrimination.
Jhisaiah Myers dreamed of becoming a Nassau County police officer but says after passing the test and beginning the hiring process he was denied because of old traffic tickets. Myers eventually became an NYPD officer instead.
"Becoming a police officer in Nassau County was a dream that was denied to me," says Myers.
Myers filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the county for racial discrimination. His attorneys say the system is set up where Black applicants initially pass the written test but the process that follows, including canvassing, the physical agility test, background check and psychological exam, creates a gap between white and Black applicants.
"It is no accident that only 4% - as of 2021- of the Nassau County police officers are African American," says co-counsel Randolph McLaughlin.
The attorneys say the rest of the process after the test is controlled exclusively by the Nassau Police Department.
"If you look past the exam, at every stage the percentage of African Americans that are failing the process woefully exceeds the percentage of white citizens who are not," says McLaughlin.
News 12 was told Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder could not comment on pending litigation.
A representative from the Nassau County executive's office released a statement saying, "Nassau County is committed to employing people from all backgrounds and communities and the last two police academy classes were some of the most diverse in the department's history. We cannot discuss the specifics of the litigation."
Of the 50 recruits recently sworn into the Nassau County PD, only eight were people of color.
"Nassau County has and continues to discriminate, not just because we say so but because the numbers say so," says attorney Fred Brewington.
During the hiring process the lawsuit cited data that showed after the initial exam 24% of white applicants were successful, while 8.5% of Black applicants were successful.