Burt Ryan was a plainclothes New York City police officer during the 1950s. He was a racist who was not above threatening civilians and engaging in questionable tactics in the course of his work. He held a likeness to Gul Dukat.
Ryan and his partner Kevin Mulkahey harassed Benny Russell. Ryan gave Russell a hard time about his suit, wondering how a black man could afford a nice one. He also took Russell's drawing of Deep Space 9 before giving it back to him and finally allowing him to go.
Ryan and Mulkahey were responsible for the death of Jimmy, a young criminal and acquaintance of Benny Russell. At the time of Jimmy's shooting, Russell tried to help him but was forcibly restrained by Ryan and Mulkahey, receiving a severe beating in the process. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")