You find out who your friends are once you file a lawsuit. That's the moral of the story on this interesting lawsuit.
New York Post reporter, Leonardo Blair, filed a racial profiling lawsuit against the New York Police Department (NYPD) after an incident in which the police stopped, frisked, and arrested him. The charges against him were later dismissed by a judge.
The lawsuit was actually filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) on Blair's behalf. Named defendants include the City of New York, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and NYPD officers William Castillo and Eric Reynolds.
"Leo Blair was handcuffed and hauled to a precinct house for simply walking down the street," said Donna Lieberman, NYCLU executive director. "Walking while black is not a crime, and yet every year hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers are stopped, searched and interrogated by the police for doing just that."
According to the lawsuit, NYPD stopped about 469,000 New Yorkers in 2007 – almost 1,300 people every day. Eighty-eight percent were completely innocent. Though they make up only a quarter of the City’s population, more than half of those stopped were black.
Blair's lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Suing the New York Police Department isn't unusual, but the response of Blair's employer caught our eye.
So, how did Blair's employer, the New York Post, respond? They quickly fired Blair.
The reason for termination? Apparently, the paper's editors were caught off guard by the lawsuit he filed. It probably didn't help that the Post had written an editorial defending the stop and frisk policy and that it ran the same day Blair filed his lawsuit. Oops!
While it seems crazy to fire a black journalist for standing up for his civil rights, it's a lesson that would-be suers who frequent our website should take to heart.
You usually don't make friends when sue somebody, and you quickly find out who your real friends are.