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Court Rules Officer Who Spoke Out Against Arrest Quotas Can Sue NYPD

February 27, 2015  | 

A federal appeals court on Thursday reinstated a lawsuit by an NYPD officer, who claims he was punished for speaking out against arrest and ticket quotas.

Police Officer Craig Matthews — who made headlines in 2012 for taking down a killer gunman in front of the Empire State Building — had his complaint tossed 18 months ago by a Manhattan federal judge, who said Matthews wasn’t owed First Amendment protection for complaining on the job.

Matthews claimed he was targeted for retaliation and unjust work evaluations because he spoke out about quotas, which the NYPD has denied exist.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said Matthews spoke to commanders just like any ordinary citizen would have the right to do, during any number of regular meetings the brass has with the public, the New York Post reports.

“We conclude that because Matthews’ comments on precinct policy did not fall within his official duties … he spoke as a citizen,” the appeals court ruled. “Accordingly, we vacate the district court’s grant of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

kevCopAz @ 2/28/2015 10:18 AM

YES!! Great ruling! This may stop the heavy handed, back stabbing revenge seeking boss's who don't want any criticism or complaints from the working LEOs who have to put up with their dictatorial ways of "leading". There are legitimate reasons why the line officer needs to and should speak out when things are wrong or unjust and in this case illegal!. This should be done respectfully and professionally and the officers should never suffer any retaliation from a heavy handed boss. I hope he wins $ from NYC as a whistle blower. We don't give up ALL our rights when we pin on a badge.

Sgt. Mike @ 3/4/2015 2:38 PM

I agree, shutting the door to internal communication and debate on policy between line personnel and leadership staff is the best way to keep us from cleaning our own house.

It also invites the next best method to clean house, DOJ review...and that's so much worse because those cats don't know a thing about working the street on a reasonable budget. Money falls from heaven for them, and relationships with the public are political rather than practical.

Why the NYPD is so scared of the opinion of they're finest is beyond comprehension.

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