Two NYPD Gun Squad Detectives Accused of On-the-Job Racism Against Suspects, Coworkers

April 16, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Captain Allegedly Prefaced Searches in Brownsville, Bed-Stuy and East New York with Racist Speeches

A captain and a lieutenant in an elite NYPD anti-gun unit are being accused of routinely dehumanizing and discriminating against black suspects and coworkers alike, according to the Daily News.
Capt. James Coan and Lt. Daniel Davin denigrated black suspects and spouted invective that condoned the use of inordinate violence against them, often letting loose racist tirades in the presence of black coworkers, according to sworn testimony from two current NYPD detectives and a retired first-grade detective, who are the defendants’ former colleagues in the anti-gun unit.
According to the retired detective’s deposition, which is part of a federal discrimination lawsuit against Coan and Davin, Coan habitually delivered a violent racist diatribe as a kind of hateful pep talk before the execution of search warrants in Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York between 2008 and 2010.
“Capt. Coan would tell the field team… ‘They are f—–g animals. You make sure if you have to shoot, you shoot them in the head. That way there’s one story,’” said the retired detective, identified only as Undercover 7988, according to the News.
Detectives Al Hawkins and Gregory Jean-Baptiste, the other detectives who testified last month in Brooklyn Federal Court, testified that Lt. Davin hurled slurs at suspected perpetrators and at Jean-Baptiste himself.  
Hawkins recounted an episode in 2005 when he walked into an apartment and found Davin telling a group of white officers, “If you have to shoot a n—-r, do what you gotta do,” according to the News.
Davin also allegedly called Jean-Baptiste a “black bastard.” Jean-Baptiste was demoted from a second-grade to a third-grade detective as a result of discord with Lt. Davin.

In his own deposition, Coan denied all accusations of making racist remarks.

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Both defendants in the discrimination complaint remain on the NYPD, although in different positions, according to the News.

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