Scuba officer sues New York police over race

By The Associated Press | Posted - Oct. 2, 2014 at 4:31 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

NEW YORK (AP) — A mixed-race police officer with painted toenails has accused fellow officers in a New York Police Department scuba unit of discriminating against him by calling him a transsexual and a descendant of slaves.

The accusations are contained in a civil lawsuit announced on Thursday by lawyers for Oscar Smith against the city and five officers.

The lawsuit alleges supervisors and officers abused Smith by expressing open disbelief a black man could pass a swimming test. It also says the NYPD unfairly denied him promotions and overtime based on his race.

It seeks millions of dollars in damages.

Court papers describe Smith as a mixed-race African-American and an avid diver and surfer. They say painting toenails is common for surfers.

The city's Law Department says it's reviewing the matter.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast