2382275_lThe New York Times has reported that the first black member of the 29-person NYC Police Department’s scuba-diving unit has filed a race discrimination charge with the EEOC accusing the PD of permitting racial taunts and prejudice “from the moment he applied to the unit to the last moments in his seven years on the team [when he retired because of the harassment, he claims].”

He said in his charge that since he had previously worked as a lifeguard, he tried to transfer into the unit in 2003 but was told that the unit’s captain had blocked the transfer “because, he said, ‘black guys couldn’t swim.’”  When he eventually joined the unit, a supervisor “repeatedly asked me how it was that a ‘black man’ could have passed the swim test.”

His lawyer accused the NYPD of “racial stereotyping.”

His charge also alleges that he was “subjected to racial hostility, derogatory comments and unfavorable treatment.”  For example, he was nicknamed “Tautog,” another name for a blackfish.