Deal Reached With Officer Punished For Arrest Quota Comments

NEW YORK (AP) -

New York City has agreed to pay over $280,000 to settle the claims of a police officer who said he was punished for making comments about arrest quotas.

Earlier this year, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan found Officer Craig Matthews’s criticisms were covered by the First Amendment as it reinstated his lawsuit. A lower-court judge had ruled that Matthews’ complains were not constitutionally protected.

Matthews, a city officer for 17 years, sued the city in 2012, saying he was harassed and negatively evaluated at his Bronx precinct after he objected to arrest quotas and color-coded records kept by supervisors who punished officers who fell short of their quotas. He claimed he was denied overtime, was separated from his longtime partner and was given punitive assignments.

The New York Police Department has said it doesn’t have arrest or summons quotas.

Under the agreement, New York City agrees to drop a 2011 negative evaluation of Matthews. The settlement includes back wages of $32,000; compensatory damages of $125,000; and $130,000 in attorney fees.