Nassau County Police accused of racial discrimination in hiring

The Nassau County Police Department has been hit with a racial discrimination lawsuit, alleging that the department has repeatedly hired white applicants over non-white ones.

Civil rights lawyers say that in the six years after a 2012 police test, Nassau County hired only 36 Black officers out of 2,508 Black applicants.

"Nassau County has and continues to discriminate not because we say so, but because the numbers say so," said attorney Frederick Brewington.

The lawsuit, filed by Jhisaiah Myers on behalf of all nonwhite applicants to the police department seeks damages and relief from the County, its police department, and the Civil Service Commission, which oversees the hiring of all Civil Service employees.

Nassau Police racial discrimination lawsuit

Attorney Frederick Brewington (Left) and plaintiff Jhisaiah Myers (Right) discussing their racial discrimination lawsuit against the Nassau County Police Department. 

According to the lawsuit, Myers, who is now an NYPD officer, passed the written exam in Nassau County but was unfairly disqualified in 2020 for old traffic tickets on his record. The lawsuit goes on to say the County hired white applicants with far more significant background issues.

"As a Long Islander becoming a police officer in Nassau County was a dream that was denied to me," Myers.

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For their part, the police department says it is unable to comment due to pending litigation however a spokesperson for Nassau County told FOX 5 NY that while he can’t comment on specifics surrounding the suit, that the County is committed to employing people from all communities and the last two academy classes were some of the most diverse in the department’s history.

However, Myers’ counsel is challenging those claims.

"The numbers of African Americans that are police officers in the hasn’t gotten better," Brewington said. "It has gotten worse."

The class action suit is seeking other members who say they have experienced the same alleged discrimination. Attorneys are in it for the long haul and say it can take anywhere from 18 months to two years to play out in court.