The New York Law Journal by Mark Hamblett - April 16, 2012
A Bronx police officer who alleged he was punished for complaining to his superiors that his precinct maintained a quota system for arrests has lost his First Amendment lawsuit. Southern District Judge Barbara Jones ruled that Craig Matthews did not engage in constitutionally protected speech when he alleged that the 42nd Precinct had a strict quota system mandating a target number of arrests, summons and stop-and-frisks. Matthews said he brought the quota system to the attention of commanding officers on four occasions, only to be given "punitive assignments" such as foot patrols and prisoner transport. He also claimed he was denied overtime and leave; was separated from his longtime partner; and was "targeted for humiliating treatment." The New York Police Department denied the use of the system and moved to dismiss his action under 42 U.S.C. §1983. Judge Jones granted the motion in a 12-page decision released on April 12, finding that Matthews was not speaking as a citizen when he complained, but was speaking pursuant to his duties as an officer. Christopher Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union is expected to file an appeal on Matthews' behalf. William Fraenkel, of counsel to the city's Law Department, represented the defense in Matthews v. City of New York, 12 CV 1354.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FEDERAL COMPLAINT, Matthews v. City of New York(SDNY 12civ1354)
U.S. Judge Rejects Officer’s Lawsuit on Quotas
The New York Times by Matt Flegenheimer - April 12, 2012
Judge shoots down Bx. 'quota cop' 1st Amendment lawsuit
The New York Post by Jamie Schram, Police Bureau Chief - April 13, 2012
A judge has shot down a federal lawsuit by a Bronx cop claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated because his superiors retaliated against him for complaining about quotas. Southern District Judge Barbara Jones ruled that veteran officer Craig Matthew’s speech was not protected by the First Amendment because he was discussing job-related issues as a public employee and not a private citizen. “The judge made a well-reasoned decision, and we are pleased the court dismissed the lawsuit,” NYC Law Dept. Senior Counsel William Fraenkel. Matthews was assigned to the 42nd Precinct in Tremont, which he claimed required quotas for arrests, summonses and street stops. On four occasions, he notified commanding officers about the quota system being used by mid-level superiors, according to court documents. He also whined that his First Amendment rights were trampled on by his supervisors, who allegedly retaliated against him by giving him punitive assignments and cutting his overtime. Matthews was even the subject of “humiliating treatment by supervisors” and was handed negative performance evaluations for complaining about alleged quotas, the papers charge.
Bronx Police Precinct Accused of Using Quota System
The New York Times by Al Baker - February 23, 2012