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Monday, October 28, 2013

Suit Could Determine Protections for Police Department Whistle-Blowers

By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
The New York Times
Published: October 13, 2013

When Officer Craig Matthews complained to his precinct commander about a quota system that he believed was resulting in illegal street stops and arrests, it did not take long, he said, for him to see a response: he was given undesirable assignments, a mediocre performance review and the cold shoulder from his immediate supervisors.

So Officer Matthews filed a federal lawsuit, seeking protection from retaliation by invoking the First Amendment — a standard strategy for whistle-blowers who believe they have been punished for coming forward.

But because Officer Matthews, 40, is with the New York Police Department, his rights are less assured.

The city has taken the position that because officers are expected to report misconduct, those who come forward as whistle-blowers are simply fulfilling their duty established by the patrol guide, a voluminous book of police procedures.

The entire story is here.
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