Dominion of New York


April 17, 2012

3 NYPD Officers: Our Supervisors Treat Blacks Like “Animals”

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Written by: Kelly Virella
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Photo courtesy of Flickr/jacobsoboroff


s if the New York City Police Department weren’t already in enough legal trouble, three officers are accusing three supervisors of an elite anti-gun unit of blatant racism.

A retired NYPD detective and two active detectives  said under oath that their supervisors handled white suspects with kid gloves, while treating blacks like “animals” deserving of a bullet to the head, according to the New York Daily News. The detectives made their sworn statements as part of an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by one of them in Brooklyn Federal Court. The lawsuit, filed by Detective Debra Lawson, alleges that minority-group members in the unit were passed over for good assignments and career advancement.

The Daily News reported the officers’ accusations against two of their supervisors: Lt. Daniel Davin and Capt. James Coan.

The paper reports:

Davin used the N-word to address black suspects, while Coan considered the unit’s minority-group targets almost subhuman, the depositions indicate.

“Capt. Coan would tell the field team . . . ‘They are f—–g animals. You make sure if you have to shoot, you shoot them in the head. That way there’s one story,’ ” said the retired detective.

The article lists other racial slurs the supervisors allegedly made against the officers themselves and against suspects. According to court papers, Davin was “reinstructed” about his racist comments in 2010.


About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.