Colin Kaepernick’s NFL protests have garnered immense support by some, and intense backlash by others. Now, one of those supporters, NYPD Sergeant Edwin Raymond, says he’s seeing some retaliation for having backed Kaepernick’s actions.
Sgt. Edwin Raymond says that the New York Police Department blocked his promotion to lieutenant because of his support for Kaepernick’s protests, according to the New York Daily News.
The Daily News reports that Raymond scored No. 26 out of 1,325 sergeants on the lieutenants’ test, but that “questionable allegations” filed by commanding officers regarding Raymond’s response to two domestic complaints prevented him from being promoted to the rank.
“I did a press conference in support of Colin Kaepernick, using his status to put a spotlight on issues in policing that need to be fixed,” Edwin Raymond, 33, told the Daily News. “Because of the controversy a lot of cops criticized him. Me being aligned with him was seen as standing with the enemy.”
If the name Edwin Raymond sounds familiar, it’s because this sergeant has been mentioned in the news before, and he’s garnered a reputation as an “outspoken” NYPD sergeant.
Here’s everything to know about Edwin Raymond.
Edwin Raymond is a member of NYPD 12, a group of officers who sued the NYPD
NYPD 12 is a group of 12 New York City police officers who sued the NYPD over the department’s alleged practice of quota-based policing.
Though the NYPD had denied that quotas continued to exist within the department — a 2010 statewide ban barred the practice of arrest quotas — Edwin Raymond and 11 other police officers filed a class-action lawsuit in August 2015 claiming that the NYPD continued to require officers to meet “fixed numerical goals for arrests and court summonses each month,” per the New York Times.
To Raymond, policing via quotas perpetuates racial discrimination at the hands of the police department.
NYPD 12 is still around, and is supported by Justice League NYC and other community partners.
Edwin Raymond is a whistleblower who recorded NYPD officials
As part of his effort to shed light on what he calls a racist practice by the NYPD, Edwin Raymond secretly recorded NYPD officials as they talked about fulling arrest quotas.
Between 2014 and 2016, Raymond recorded “almost a dozen officials up and down the chain of command” within the New York City police department, the Times reported.
Before he made sergeant, Raymond received “increasingly damning evaluations from his supervisors,” per the Times. He believed he was being punished for not following the NYPD’s system of arrest quotas, which he says is a racist practice that harmed black men.
In one instance, while in a meeting with NYPD executives over a hearing to explain his side of the story on his record as a police officer, Raymond recorded the entire interaction on his iPhone, which was in the breast pocket of his dress coat.
Though Raymond wasn’t receiving rave evaluations from his supervisors within the New York City police department, he was promoted to sergeant in 2016, though in his effort to reach that goal, he said that the promotion was “wrongfully and unlawfully” denied to him at first.
Edwin Raymond is in a documentary called Crime + Punishment, out in 2018
Edwin Raymond and other officers’ activism has been immortalized in a documentary called “Crime + Punishment,” directed by Stephen Maing.
Crime + Punishment premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and was officially released on Aug. 24, 2018. It is available to watch on Hulu.
The documentary follows Raymond and other NYPD officers over four years to “chronicle the real lives and struggles of black and Latino NYPD officers,” set amidst the NYPD 12 lawsuit over unlawful police quotas.
Journalist Shawn King has called Crime + Punishment “the most important documentary in the country,” and it’s received praise from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and more. The documentary is a Sundance Film Festival winner, for U.S. documentary special jury award for social impact filmmaking, and has received other awards from the Montclair Film Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, Greenwich International Film Festival and more.
Edwin Raymond organized a show of support for Colin Kaepernick
In Aug. 2017, Edwin Raymond organized an event in Brooklyn to show support for Colin Kaepernick after the player was ousted from the NFL for his protests in which he took a knee during the national anthem.
About 88 NYPD officers joined Raymond, donning black shirts that said “#ImWithKap.”
It was that protest that has caused NYPD officials to retaliate not just against Raymond, the sergeant says, but other officers, as well.
“Thankful for the 88 officers who were willing to join me on this day,” Raymond recently posted on Instagram alongside a picture of that event. “Some of you returned to work to find that you’d been removed from your units, some were no longer ‘invited to the BBQ’, some lost friends of more than a decade, I was slandered via libel by my own officers and colleagues and all of us became pariahs. What will never be shaken is the fact that we are all on the right side of history.”
Edwin Raymond was raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn
Edwin Raymond grew up in East Flatbush, raised by a Haitian immigrant father. When Raymond was 3 years old and his brother 4, their mother died of cancer, per the Times.
Friends told the Times that Raymond always had a “powerful, even rigid sense of morality,” and that growing up, Raymond lectured them about the dangers of drugs and gangs.
At 16, Raymond ran into a family friend who had become a police officer and raved about the benefits of the job, which inspired Raymond to decide to enroll in the police academy once he was of age. Raymond’s activism was prompted before he officially joined the NYPD, when a friend lent him a copy of ‘‘The Destruction of Black Civilization.’’