An NYPD officer is suing the department after she said she was disciplined for speaking in Spanish to a coworker.
Officer Jessenia Guzman, originally of the Dominican Republic, said in a suit filed Monday that she was reprimanded for violating the department’s English-only policy after speaking casually with a coworker at a precinct in 2013.
The suit claims that the department violates her civil and constitutional rights and seeks unspecified damages.
Anthony Miranda, the chairman of the National Latino Officers Association, has been advising Guzman in the case and said that the conversation amounted to little more than a casual “how are you” conversation.
He disagreed with the NYPD’s policy and called it “pure racism.”
In a statement to the New York Post, the department said that "with over 50 different languages spoken by employees of the Department, our Office of Equal Employment Opportunity has established guidelines for members to speak English when they are conducting business for the department, unless speaking a foreign language is necessary to perform his or her duties."
The Post also reports that a lieutenant at the department said that Guzman "continually" spoke in Spanish with another officer.
On Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton defended the policy on Tuesday.
“She's wrong,” he said. “We're gonna win. See you in court."