Kane In Your Corner: Ex-Jersey City officer’s discrimination suit underway

Former Jersey City officer Frank DeFazio's discrimination lawsuit against the department is underway.

Former Jersey City officer Frank DeFazio's discrimination lawsuit against the department is underway. (4/28/16)

JERSEY CITY - Testimony is almost complete in the age discrimination lawsuit filed by a former Jersey City police officer who says he was targeted for speaking out about what he called dangerous and unprofessional practices on the city’s Emergency Services Unit.

News 12 New Jersey first exposed Frank DeFazio’s case in a Kane In Your Corner investigation. He alleges his supervisors tried to push him out in favor of younger officers who were less likely to speak up. But on the witness stand Thursday, one of those supervisors, Sgt. Clyde Banks, insisted that was not the case. Banks said he believed other officers who had previously testified against him “testified based on rumors” and “had no direct knowledge” of events.

DeFazio began to complain about practices in the unit after a clique of younger officers began wearing patches on their uniforms, identifying themselves as “part of the three percent.” Three Percenters are a right-wing militia group that the Anti-Defamation League calls “anti-government.”

Banks admits handing out “three percent” patches but says he was not aware of the political connotations. He says he saw the patches as a way to improve morale throughout the ESU. 

The trial is expected to conclude next week.

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