WCA Threatens Federal Escalation Over Officer’s Alleged HIPAA Violation and Discrimination

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The Westchester Correction Association (WCA), an organization representing African American Correction Officers, has expressed grave concerns over recent comments made by Correction Officer Branden Hcnyl on Facebook. In his post, Officer Hcnyl questioned the legitimacy of injuries sustained by officers of color, sparking outrage and accusations of discrimination within the department.

WCA argues that Officer Hcnyl’s statement not only undermines department unity but also creates a hostile work environment by pitting officers against one another for exercising their contractual rights. The organization emphasizes that Officer Hcnyl, who lacks medical expertise, made public statements about fellow officers’ injuries on social media without personally evaluating them.

The association urges Commissioner Spano to take appropriate disciplinary action against Officer Hcnyl for making false claims about officers’ medical records and violating HIPAA laws. WCA is calling on the Commissioner to address this issue with the same urgency and severity that the department has shown in handling social media posts made by other officers, particularly those involving WCA members. The organization also clarified that Hncyl is not the officer’s real name, but everyone knows who he is.

WCA raises concerns about how Officer Hcnyl obtained sensitive medical information about fellow officers, as this data should not be freely shared or accessible to other staff members. The unauthorized disclosure of officers’ medical information breaches confidentiality and erodes trust within the department. The organization stresses that Commissioner Spano must swiftly investigate the source of the leak and implement proper measures to protect the privacy and personal information of all correction officers.

Furthermore, WCA maintains that Officer Hcnyl’s post singles out and questions the injuries of officers of color, undermining department unity and creating a hostile work environment. The organization believes that such discriminatory behavior should not be tolerated and that the department must address any instances of bias.

WCA has informed Black Westchester that if the County and Commissioner Spano fail to act, they will escalate the issue to the Federal Government. The organization’s representative also stated that the situation has raised concerns about disparities in how white and black officers are disciplined within the department.

WCA highlights a glaring inconsistency in the department’s handling of social media posts. The organization notes that WCA made posts to raise awareness about the safety concerns and harassment Black correction officers face. When the department assumed it was a White Captain within WDOC, the department sought to bring charges against our President, even though WCA did not mention any names or any department because there are three correctional facilities (Bedford, Sing Sing, and Westchester) in Westchester County. WCA has members in these facilities. However, in the case of Officer Hcnyl’s false statement, which specifically targeted and questioned the legitimacy of injuries sustained by officers of color, the department appears to be turning a blind eye and not taking any disciplinary action. This apparent double standard in addressing officer misconduct has further fueled tensions and accusations of racial bias within the department.

Moreover, WCA argues that this incident exacerbates the ongoing harassment of women of color, which the department has allegedly ignored under the Latimer administration. The organization stresses that such behavior should not be tolerated within the department or by County Executive George Latimer.

As the controversy unfolds, WCA remains committed to protecting the rights and privacy of its members and ensuring that the department maintains a safe, respectful, and professional work environment for all correction officers. The organization urges Commissioner Spano to thoroughly investigate this matter and take appropriate disciplinary action against those found to have violated department policies or compromised the confidentiality of fellow officers.

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

1 COMMENT

  1. I know that this story is true. I personally had the work experience of 30 years with job injuries.The stories are true and the department has repeatedly made it hard for blacks. The department has been able to avoid addressing the discrimination against blacks, by buying other blacks out,by promoting certain blacks whenever ,the issue of discrimination is addressed. I had job injuries that the department didn’t want to pay me for, instead they set me up on trumped up charges and tried to fire me to avoid settling with me for my job injuries. I fought them and proved that they set me up, but they continued to harrass me and lie on me. They denied me the access to my personal file that held the information I needed to prove their corruption and discrimination against me.They will do anything to hide their wrongdoing.

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