What You Should Know
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District
You should know that both New York City Police Chief Gerald Nelson and New York City Police Inspector Manual De la Rosa have been confronted with difficult times and apparent discrimination toward them, within the NYPD.
You should know that I met Chief Gerald Nelson – who calls me “Dad” – back in mid-2000 when he visited me in my office. At that time, he was just a Police Inspector. Inspector Nelson provided me with a copy of his Curriculum Vitae and made me aware of the fact that he had been an Inspector for 6 years. I was afraid that his future in the NYPD had come to a halt because it is very rare that anyone remains an Inspector for 6 years without getting promoted to Deputy Chief. It appeared to me that he was being punished by remaining a Police Inspector for 6 years.
You should know that I immediately called the Office of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and I spoke with the First Deputy Mayor Randy Mastro. I followed that telephone conversation with a letter in which I explained Police Inspector Gerald Nelson’s situation, and I included a copy of his resume. In both my telephone call and in my written correspondence, I notified the Office of the Mayor of the apparent discrimination that Inspector Gerald Nelson was confronting. I asked them to please take a look at his resume and pay attention to Inspector Nelson’s trajectory, capacity, experience and education.
I was not asking for any special favor. I was just asking them to review the facts. I was asking for justice because there was no reason why – with all of Inspector Gerald Nelson’s preparation and all of Gerald Nelson’s qualifications – that after 6 years, he was still an Inspector, blocked from his opportunity to become a Deputy Chief while others under his command had already been promoted.
It is important for you to know that a few weeks after my telephone conversation and letter – and to be even more exact – in September, 2000, Police Inspector Gerald Nelson was promoted to Deputy Chief. Since that time, no one has ever again ignored Gerald Nelson’s ability and competence, to the point that now Gerald Nelson holds one of the highest positions in the New York City Police Department. His name has been included among those to be considered for NYPD First Deputy Commissioner.
You should know, my dear reader, that the same thing that happened to Gerald Nelson, an African-American, is happening to Inspector Manuel De la Rosa, a Puerto Rican.
Manuel De la Rosa was promoted to Police Inspector in January, 2004. For the past 10 years – almost 11 – Inspector De la Rosa has been ignored, and I am afraid to say that to me, this looks like discrimination. Many others who have served under the supervision of Police Inspector De la Rosa have been promoted. Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains who have served under Inspector De la Rosa have already been promoted to Chief, while Manuel De la Rosa remains an Inspector, the same rank he had almost 11 years ago.
What a shame!
You should know that Police Inspector De la Rosa is a humble, professional and well-educated person. His vast experience and preparation was brought to the attention of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Administration. They never showed interest, and instead, ignored and refused to take a look at De la Rosa’s situation.
Today, as in 2000, when I wrote about Gerald Nelson, I write with respect for Manuel De la Rosa. Today, like in 2000, I am not asking for any personal or political favor. I am not asking for special treatment. I am simply asking for justice.
You should know, my dear reader, that even though I did not support Bill de Blasio when he ran for Mayor of the City of New York, and I did not vote for him, I still believe as the Mayor of all the people in New York, he should take a look at Manuel De la Rosa's situation. I do not expect any special favors. I am simply asking for justice.
Ladies and gentlemen, today, I write with the purpose of having someone in authority review Police Inspector De la Rosa’s situation, his trajectory, behavior, education, experience. I write to ask for justice for this man who, for more than 10 years, has seen his friends being promoted while he remains ignored with no one offering any reason or explanation about why this injustice has been allowed.
This is Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.