FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, June 24, 2014 – New York Civil Rights Lawyer Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., representing Police Officer Eunice Vilaseca announces the filing of a $15 Million dollar race and gender discrimination lawsuit against the City of New York
According to the lawsuit, from June 19, 2011, through the present, Officer Eunice Vilaseca, a Medium Brown Skinned Dominican female police officer claims she was subjected to the highly offensive discriminatory conduct of Lieutenant Dennis Azambuja (Light Skinned Hispanic Male). Lieutenant Azambuja openly announced in the workplace that he has a “Hit List” of ‘minority officers’ meaning African-American and Hispanic officers that he dislikes due to their race and/or ethnicity. This “Hit List” includes Caucasian Male officers who closely affiliate themselves with their minority partners. Lieutenant Azambuja openly makes racially offensive jokes and comments about African-Americans. Additionally, Lieutenant Azambuja openly refers to females as “Bitches.” The other police supervisors actively participated, ratified, condoned or acquiesced to Lieutenant Azambuja’s discriminatory conduct.
Ms. Vilaseca claims she has filed numerous complaints with the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and the Internal Affairs Bureau. In support, Ms. Vilaseca claims Police Officer Glenn Bysterbusch (Caucasian Male) gave numerous witness statements supporting her claims. Ms. Vilaseca alleges that the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity have done nothing to protect her or Police Officer Bysterbusch. In addition, Ms. Vilaseca claims Commanding Officer Captain Kevin Maloney (Caucasian Male) and Lieutenant Azambuja as well as the other police supervisors have responded by retaliating against them filing falsified disciplinary charges, transferring them to an undesirable tour, undesirable patrol assignments, etc.
Lieutenant Azambuja allegedly told Sergeants Rosemary Davis (Dark Skinned Hispanic Female) and John Grasso (Caucasian Male) that he had a “Hit List” and that he is going to crush the officers on the list. Ms. Vilaseca alleges that she objected to Lieutenant Azambuja’s discriminatory conduct. According to the lawsuit, the “Hit List” is similar in nature and goals to the one maintained by (deceased) former Chief of Personnel Michael A. Markman (Caucasian Male) as discovered in Patricia A. Raniola V. The City of New York, et al., 243 F3d 610 (2d Cir. 2001).
According to the lawsuit, Lieutenant Azambuja was reading a supermarket circular and made the following racially insensitive comments:
- “Hey Rose (Sergeant Rosemary Davis) there is a sale on bananas. Get it, bananas and monkeys’.”
- Sergeant Trevor Allen (African-American Male) looks like an “Oreo Cookie”
- Women are “Bitches”
- Made a comment about Ms. Vilaseca’s “Spanish hair”
Ms. Vilaseca alleges sometime in summer 2012 she was served with formal Charges and Specifications. In addition, on October 12, 2012, Lieutenant Kristen McKee (Caucasian Female) falsely reported to the Medical Division that she was having psychological problems. She further alleges she was picked up at her residence, forced to turn over her firearm, and driven to the NYPD Psychological Services, the same tactic performed through the history of the Department after reporting misconduct. Ms. Vilaseca alleges the Department Psychologist determined that she was not going to harm herself but placed her on Restricted Duty.
Ms. Vilaseca alleges on March 11, 2013, she was forced to defend herself in the disciplinary trial that was commenced against her in the Matter of The Police Department City of New York v. Police Officer Eunice Vilaseca Department Advocate’s Office Serial No.: 2012-7503. She further alleges, on October 28, 2013, she was found guilty of failure to have proper equipment (escape hood), failure to properly voucher vehicle for safekeeping, failure to properly fill out a summons, and discourtesy. The recommended penalty was the forfeiture of forty (40) days vacation.
Ms. Vilaseca alleges Assistant Deputy Commissioner – Trials David S. Weisel (Caucasian Male) intentionally did not include evidence nor evaluate admissible evidence that tended to support her version of events regarding unfair discipline in for complaining about race and gender discrimination.
“Clearly, Ms. Vilaseca’s legal rights were violated. Unfortunately, in the police culture, people of color legal rights aren’t valued. By filing this lawsuit, Ms. Vilaseca fully intends to hold these parties legally responsible for their actions.” Eric Sanders says.
Ms. Vilaseca filed her discrimination lawsuit in the Supreme Court, County of the Bronx Index No.: 303466/14.
ABOUT THE SANDERS FIRM, P.C.
The Sanders Firm, P.C. offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rights, civil service rights, criminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights. The Sanders Firm, P.C. is your voice for justice!
Eric Sanders, Esq.
The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Business Phone: 888-892-8952