Black Southampton Village Cop Denied Promotion, Lawsuit Claims

Southampton Village Police Department sign SVPD
Southampton Village Police Department headquarters on Windmill Lane

A longtime Southampton Village police officer recently filed a $30 million discrimination lawsuit in Central Islip federal court claiming that he was denied promotions because he is Black.

Kareem Proctor, who was hired by the village in September 2008, filed suit seeking damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and damages to name and reputation for what he says are the malicious conduct, violation of civil rights and discriminatory treatment by the Southampton Village Police Department.

“Mr. Proctor was subjected to unequal treatment based on his race, color and for opposing discriminatory treatment,” Frederick Brewington, the Hempstead-based civil attorney who represents the officer, said in a statement.

The Flanders resident, who is one of three African Americans in a department of more than 30 officers, joined the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office East End Drug Task Force — made up of law enforcement officers and detectives from Twin Forks law enforcement agencies — September 9, 2015 and was assured by then-Southampton Village Police Chief Thomas Cummings that he would be promoted to detective after 18 months on that assignment.

New York State Civil Service Law says anyone serving in a detective or investigator position for at least 18 months “shall receive a permanent appointment to a detective or investigator position.”

But the officer says he was removed from the task force one day prior to automatically being promoted.

“Of all seven police officers that were on the task force since I have been employed … I was the only officer that was not promoted to a higher rank,” Proctor previously told Dan’s Papers. “The other officers were all Caucasian.”

The suit was filed last month after the New York State Division of Human Rights reviewed the allegations and found probable cause that the department discriminated against him.

Village officials could not be reached for comment.

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