Last year 13 New York City park employees filed a lawsuit after being transferred out of Battery City Park, which came months after escalating tensions between the mostly minority agents and some residents — and were replaced with white and light-skinned staffers. The workers also complained of racist graffiti in Battery Park City that was directed at them.
The city will pay thousands of dollars to dark-skinned Parks Department workers who claim they were transferred out of tony Battery Park City in favor of white and light-skinned staffers amid threats and veiled complaints that they were too aggressive.
The workers filed a discrimination suit after the March 2011 transfers — which came after months of escalating tensions between the mostly minority agents and some residents of the ritzy enclave.
Swastikas and graffiti calling the Public Enforcement Patrol officers “thugs,” “pigs” and “n—–s” started popping up on benches and walls, according to the suit filed by 13 workers.
The Parks Department wrongfully transferred eight dark-skinned workers out and brought in eight white, Asian or light-skinned Hispanics after the Battery Park City Authority — a private trust that pays the city $2 million for 31 PEP workers on its 32 acres — complained that some officers were too aggressive in ticketing residents, the suit charged.
Residents of the waterfront neighborhood were pleased when PEP workers ticketed visitors — but annoyed when they got tickets for the same petty violations, said Charles St. Louis, a retired NYPD officer and PEP agent who is a plaintiff in the suit.
So basically, the white residents of Battery Park felt that they should be excluded from the same treatment and rules others had to adhere to.
Well isn’t that some white privilege for you.
Charles St. Louis (in the photo above), is a retired NYPD officer and one of the workers involved in the lawsuit.
“Some people think that when they pay a hefty price for us as ‘rentals,’ they’re entitled to act a certain way,” said St. Louis, 49.
“They’re okay with us ticketing teenagers on a bench for drinking in a park, but not when it’s their wine and cheese party on the grass,” he said.
It’s unfortunate that the city buckled under the pressure of the residents of Battery Park, by performing their “paper bag” transfers, but I guess they didn’t realize there would be a cost to pay in doing so.