According to the New York Times, the seven officers, in 40 pages of allegations going back nearly 20 years, said the town’s practices hurt them professionally and fostered a hostile work environment. Five of the plaintiffs are African-American and two, Hispanic – a number that makes up about half of the African-American and Hispanic officers in the department, the Times found.
The plaintiffs also accuse the department of disproportionately detaining and arresting minorities, the Times reported. The allegations included use of offensive language to refer to racial minorities and mocking African-American complainants, witnesses and arrestees, according to the Times.
The lawsuit claims that the Greenwich department “manipulated assignments of the few minority officers on the job to foster the appearance of diversity,” not once naming a black or Hispanic to a top position in the department, according to the Times. Only three of the 66 officers hired since 1992 who are still with the department are African-American or Hispanic, the suit contends.
The plaintiffs’ lawsuit also criticizes the hiring practices for sergeants.