NEW YORK — A retired officer who spent seven years in the New York Police Department's elite scuba-diving unit has filed a discrimination complaint against the department with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Oscar Smith, who is black, says he was subjected to racial taunts and prejudice from the moment he applied to the unit until his last day on the job.
His lawyer says Smith's situation raises serious questions about racial stereotyping in the NYPD.
Smith tells The New York Times he believes he was the first black member of the police diving team.
A police spokesman says the unit currently has no blacks among its 29 divers. He declined to comment further until the NYPD had an opportunity to review Smith's complaint.
The 48-year-old Smith is a surfer and worked as a lifeguard before joining the NYPD.
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