March 6, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) Whitter, CA — Six police officers from Whittier, California are suing the city after being punished for protesting ticket quotas. The officers say they complained repeatedly within the department and shortly after were met with discrimination. They say their “careers have been materially and adversely affected, and irreparably harmed” by the city.
Jim Azpilicueta, Anthony Gonzalez, Mike Rosario, Nancy Ogle, Steve Johnson and Cpl. Joseph Rivera say that the quotas were imposed in 2008. They spoke out multiple times but when they took it to their supervisors and the Internal Affairs Division, they were swiftly punished. The officers allege they were reprimanded by being ordered to undergo counseling and that they encountered increased scrutiny, “disparaging” remarks, and faced unwarranted transfers.
Azpilicueta and Johnson faced a “supervisory review and performance improvement plan” while Johnson was eventually the subject of an Internal Affairs review. He was later suspended.
Whittier City Manager James Collier refused to comment, but offered a bland comment without denying the allegations:
“The lawsuit is unfortunate and the city will determine the best course of action once an analysis of the lawsuit is completed.”
Whittier Police spokesman John Scoggins declined to comment.
Instances of officers facing punishment for refusing to implement quotas are nothing new. New York City police officers faced slashed vacation time and lunch breaks for refusing to issue tickets during their boycott of the mayor in December and January. NYPD officers are currently suing the city in response to punishment for protesting quotas in minority neighborhoods. In 2013, the city of Los Angeles paid $6 million to officers who were punished for refusing ticket quotas, which the city prefers to call “production goals.” The Waldo, Florida police department was shut down by the city last fall after officers came forward about speed traps and forced quotas, among other violations.
Quotas are illegal under California Vehicle Codes 41600 and around the country. They are further evidence that police in their current state do not protect or serve but rather, serve as oppressors and revenue generators. It is a telling sign that officers who attempt to uphold the law and do so through “legal” channels are reprimanded while violent, murderous cops are protected.
The six Whittier police officers are suing for unspecified damages, claiming that in addition to their careers, their health and well-being suffered. It is unclear whether or not the department itself will face repercussions for its violations of the law.
They say they
“Spoke out not only for the rights of themselves and their fellow officers, but also for the rights of the public by speaking out against what they believed to be an unlawful citation and arrest quota.”
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