Brooklyn, NY – A New York Police Department (NYPD) sergeant and union representative was disarmed and transferred after he called his commanding officer “a bully.”
The incident occurred when NYPD Sergeant Harold Gates got into a disagreement with Deputy Inspector Tania Kinsella on Aug. 16 at the housing precinct where they worked in Coney Island, the New York Daily News reported.
Records showed that Sgt. Gates approached Insp. Kinsella to appeal the lower-than-usual ratings he had received on his interim evaluation.
During the course of the argument, Sgt. Gates called his supervisor “a bully,” the New York Daily News reported.
“You’re the reason cops shoot themselves. You’re the lowest of the low,” he told Insp. Kinsella, according to police department records.
Afterwards, Insp. Kinsella ordered Sgt. Gates to see a department psychiatrist and complained in an official department memo about his work performance and “suicidal ideation,” the New York Daily News reported.
Records showed that Insp. Kinsella ordered officials to take Sgt. Gates’ gun, badge, and credentials the same day as their disagreement and then transferred the sergeant to Queens VIPER.
Insp. Kinsella’s boss, NYPD Chief of Housing James Secreto, approved her decisions, according to the New York Daily News.
Sgt. Gates passed the mandatory psychiatric evaluation the same day he was flagged for potential “self-harm” by Insp. Kinsella.
On Aug. 21, the NYPD’s supervising psychologist wrote a memo that said “there are no psychological restrictions prohibiting [him] from carrying firearms,” the New York Daily News reported.
Sgt. Gates got his gun, badge, and credentials back, but then records showed he was transferred yet again and assigned to the midnight shift in a housing precinct in lower Manhattan.
Records showed that Sgt. Gates is a 13-veteran of NYPD who made 120 arrests on patrol as an officer before he became a sergeant, the New York Daily News reported.
He has supervised thousands of arrests as a sergeant.
Sgt. Gates is also an attorney who used to work for the city council, according to the New York Daily News.
But Insp. Kinsella’s supervisor has stood by her methods of discipline.
“This is not the Daily News,” Chief Secreto said. “A sergeant cannot go off on the deputy inspector without repercussions. I don’t consider it a workplace dispute. We are a paramilitary organization.”
NYPD said in an emailed statement that said Insp. Kinsella had done the right thing.
“When considering the fact patterns, in their entirety, the actions of Kinsella were well within the purview of her duties as a commanding officer and were appropriate," an NYPD spokesman told the New York Daily News.
But former NYPD Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman said that Insp. Kinsella’s actions didn’t look good and appeared to be an abuse of her authority.
“The idea of being a commander is to motivate in a positive manner production out of your subordinates,” Chapman told the New York Daily News.