Injured NYPD cop forced to work through pain, lawsuit claims
NYPD supervisors forced an officer to work in excruciating pain by making him return to work — where he couldn’t take medication for a car-crash injury, a lawsuit alleges.
Eight-year veteran Officer Julio Ramos’ issues began after an ex-girlfriend claimed he stole her car in February 2019, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Oct. 2.
The cop proved to the department that was actually his car but he was still put on modified duty and moved from the 79th Precinct to a unit that watches surveillance footage all day — often seen as a punitive assignment, according to the lawsuit.
After the transfer, Ramos started to have problems with a Lt. Robert Lurch, the suit says, adding that other officers had warned him to be wary of Lurch because he allegedly gave Hispanic cops a hard time.
At one point, Lurch berated Ramos over an issue with one of his cameras, saying, “I can’t believe you are that stupid,” “You’re a f–king moron,” and “You’re f–king stupid,” the lawsuit claims.
In June, a box truck slammed into Ramos’ car, and he went out on disability, with an NYPD District Surgeon ordering Ramos to stay out until early August due to the neck and back injuries, the suit states.
Officers who are on disability must obtain permission to leave their homes during their normal work hours, and Ramos’ boss Lt. Dominic Valentick refused to let him attend a wedding, while also giving him a hard time about trips to a physical therapist and letting movers into a new house, the lawsuit claims.
The supervisors eventually pressured the NYPD surgeon to return Ramos to duty — even though he was still being prescribed two opiates for pain, Ramos alleges.
Ramos asked the doctor “why he was placing him back to work when he knew he was disabled and on narcotics for his injuries,” according to the suit. “The doctor responded repeatedly with the same answer, ‘you shouldn’t have pissed off Lieutenant Valentick.’”
He returned to work on Aug. 6 and was transferred to Manhattan Courts.
Department policy prevents officers from taking pain meds on the clock, so Ramos was forced to endure lingering pain from the crash, the suit says.
After returning to duty, Ramos was in “excruciating pain” during one shift and asked for an ambulance, but instead was suspended without pay for 30 days, according to the suit.
Ramos’s suit claims his former supervisor in the 79th Precinct retaliated after he filed a notice of claim threatening sue the city over the issues with his injuries.
According to the lawsuit, when he returned to the precinct to retrieve gear from his locker in October, Inspector Charles Minch “verbally abused” him and brought him up on “trumped-up charges.”
Ramos claims Minch’s issue with him stemmed from an incident he was a witness to in Kings County Court, where a female officer and her ex-husband were involved in a physical altercation.
According to the suit, “no criminal charges were brought against the ex-[husband] and the incident was covered up by Minch.”
The NYPD declined to comment on the pending suit.
“Ramos, like so many other officers, is a victim of this discriminatory system that preys on the disabled by flippantly forcing them back to work at their own and the public’s risk,” Ramos’ attorney John Scola said in a statement.
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