A black detective is suing NY Mayor de Blasio for discrimination, claiming he was appointed menial jobs and demeaning work during his time as part of the mayor’s security detail, the NY Daily News reports.
Det. Erin Fitchett’s is filing the $10 million-dollar lawsuit today in Manhattan Federal Court which outlines discriminatory practices where he would be assigned jobs like standing in freezing weather to guard Gracie Mansion for 17 hours, while white detectives were given more desirable assignments, he claims.
Fitchett is charging commanding officer, Inspector Howard Redmond, as well as Lt. Karl Pfeffer and Sgt. Paul Briscoe for “systemic preferential assignments and preferential promotions that result in discriminatory practices.”
“Sergeant Briscoe has made (Fitchett) stand by the front gate of Gracie Mansion in a suit and tie in 20-degree weather for his entire 17-hour shift. Sergeant Briscoe orders (Fitchett) to do this even though there are two uniform police officers always stationed at the gate,” the suit says.
“The uniformed officers there felt so bad that they took their heater and gave it to (Fitchett) because of the cold,” the suit says.
The 43-year-old has been a member of de Blasio’s security team since 2014. He cited an exemplary record and made claim that he didn’t receive a promotion to detective third grade until January 2017, after he filed a grievance with the union.
Fitchett also was responsible for guarding de Blasio’s kids, Dante and Chiara. However he said most of his assignments assigned by Briscoe were below his job rank.
“There’s never been a shred of evidence of discrimination in the protection unit and we have total confidence in its leadership and professionalism,” de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said to the NY Daily News.
Commissioner James O’Neill said an Internal Affairs investigation is underway.