Sergeant Sean McLaine of the New York Police Department’s 79th Precinct has been placed on modified duty due to a complaint filed against him alleging racial harassment. Black officer Roberto Stokes says McLaine called him “boy” several times in an incident that occurred in September in the Brooklyn station.
According to an exclusive report from the New York Daily News, McLaine was telling Stokes to take some prisoners to Central Booking in a manner that prompted Stokes to ask, “Why do you have to treat me like a child?”
McLaine reportedly told Stokes to “be a good little boy and do your prisoner transport.”
“You can’t talk to me that way,” Stokes responded, according to a source.
Stokes’ lawyer, Norman Siegel, said he is stunned. “In the year 2011, somebody calling an African American officer a boy is simply unacceptable,” Siegel said. “This incident is part of a larger problem of race with that precinct.”
Andrew Quinn, McLaine’s lawyer, said race was not an issue in the dispute. The precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Peter Bartoszek, refused to comment on the matter, but a source close to him said racial tensions are not an issue at the precinct.
Sergeant McLaine was transferred to an NYPD viper unit, which monitors surveillance cameras at city housing projects.