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A Dominican NYPD K-9 cop claims he faced racial discrimination, including being ordered to watch “Jackie Robinson” to understand why a trainer had an issue with him — and was ridiculed by another supervisor after his police dog was struck by a car.
Hailyn Oliveras, who joined the force in 2005, says in a notice of claim filed on Dec. 23 that he was forced out of NYPD’s elite K-9 unit after reporting the instances of discrimination and workplace harassment.
“It was difficult times knowing you got into an elite unit and your dog is hit by a car and then you become the subject of racial discrimination and retaliation,” Oliveras said. “They are going forward with everything they can do to stop my career. This is all motivated by a racist man who hates me.
“And the worst part is this supervisor got an accommodation and a cushy spot.”
Oliveras says he never had a negative review or a problem with any other supervisor over his 15 years on the force until he was assigned to the K-9 unit under Sgt. Daniel Hill.
“Hill would simulate having a leash on his hand with a make-believe dog,” the notice says. “He would then make fun of Claimant, by throwing the leash under the tires of a parked vehicle to simulate [Oliveras]’ dog being struck by the vehicle.”
Oliveras’ dog, Nick, which was named after auxiliary officer Nicholas Peakaro, who was killed in the line of duty, was hit by a car on July 2, 2019, after jumping over a six-foot fence in his backyard.
Hill also allegedly made fun of Oliveras’ accent during roll call in December 2019 and again in another incident in April 2020, saying “no one can understand this stupid Spanish language.”
In another April incident, Hill remarked during a training exercise it would be easy for an “illegal immigrant” like Oliveras to scale a fence, according to the notice.
Oliveras filed a complaint with the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity in September of last year, which details the series of allegations. Another member of the unit also filed a complaint against Hill, according to Oliveras.
The office substantiated Oliveras’ claim last month and moved him out of the unit, according to the notice.
But, according to the notice, in an act of retaliation Oliveras never got a new police dog and was transferred out of the unit on Dec. 17.
“The department is supposed to protect me when I report racial discrimination, instead it flipped on me and is hunting me down,” he said.
Additionally, during his training for the unit in Metro Dade K9 school, a trainer pulled him aside and yelled at him saying he had two strikes. After that exchange, another trainer told him that he did nothing wrong but the trainer didn’t like him.
He was then ordered to watch “Jackie Robinson” to understand why the first trainer didn’t like him and singled him out, the notice says.
A police spokesman said the NYPD “will review the lawsuit if and when we are served.”
“My client was faced with the difficult decision of whether to report the discriminatory conduct of his supervisor and risk retaliation, or allow the abuse to continue,” Oliveras’ attorney John Scola said. “He reported the discrimination, which was substantiated, yet the NYPD chose, as is all too common, to retaliate against him rather than deal with the discriminatory conduct.”
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