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Old 12-22-2014, 03:33 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by dude1394 View Post
Bambi weighs in. Expected tripe from "our" president.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner...rew-c-mccarthy
"‘Patient Dialogue’?

Well, at least he didn’t say police “acted stupidly.” But President Obama’s call for “patient dialogue” in the aftermath of the premeditated, cold-blooded murder of NYPD Officers Wenjian Lu and Rafael Ramos is maddening.

Dialogue is an exchange that takes place when there are competing points of view and it is reasonable to believe that both of them may have a point.

Does the president really think there are two sides to this story?

.....?
what the hell are you even talking about??? there is no debate or two sides of the story you are talking about (2 people were murdered in cold blood, and the POS that murdered them committed suicide. NOBODY (except morons like you) are debating the guilt or the tragedy here. I haven't heard discussion of broader conspiracies underlying this action at this point (except for from morons).


the dialogue ...that EVERYONE is asking for.. is "wow, this is terrible, what can we do to make it better?"

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Old 12-23-2014, 12:01 PM   #42
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http://www.city-journal.org/2014/eon1222hm.html

"Since last summer, a lie has overtaken significant parts of the country, resulting in growing mass hysteria. That lie holds that the police pose a mortal threat to black Americans—indeed that the police are the greatest threat facing black Americans today. Several subsidiary untruths buttress that central myth: that the criminal-justice system is biased against blacks; that the black underclass doesn’t exist; and that crime rates are comparable between blacks and whites—leaving disproportionate police action in minority neighborhoods unexplained without reference to racism. The poisonous effect of those lies has now manifested itself in the cold-blooded assassination of two NYPD officers.
....

The New York Times ratcheted up its already stratospheric level of anti-cop polemics. In an editorial justifying the Ferguson riots, the Times claimed that “the killing of young black men by police is a common feature of African-American life and a source of dread for black parents from coast to coast.” Some facts: Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths. The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks. In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the U.S.—almost all killed by black civilians—resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. None of those killings triggered mass protests; they are deemed normal and beneath notice. The police, by contrast, according to published reports, kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The percentage of black suspects killed by the police nationally is 29 percent lower than the percentage of blacks mortally threatening them."

Joe bob says check it out.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:32 PM   #43
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I don't know what that has to do with this subject (probably makes more sense in the White Justice vs. Black Justice topic) but I really think this should be on a Christmas card:

POLICE: Hey Blacks, At Least We're Not Killing All of You And Are Simply Arresting You At An Incredibly Disproportionate Rate To All Other Races
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:13 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by dude1394 View Post
http://www.city-journal.org/2014/eon1222hm.html

"Since last summer, a lie has overtaken significant parts of the country, resulting in growing mass hysteria. That lie holds that the police pose a mortal threat to black Americans—indeed that the police are the greatest threat facing black Americans today. Several subsidiary untruths buttress that central myth: that the criminal-justice system is biased against blacks; that the black underclass doesn’t exist; and that crime rates are comparable between blacks and whites—leaving disproportionate police action in minority neighborhoods unexplained without reference to racism. The poisonous effect of those lies has now manifested itself in the cold-blooded assassination of two NYPD officers.
....

The New York Times ratcheted up its already stratospheric level of anti-cop polemics. In an editorial justifying the Ferguson riots, the Times claimed that “the killing of young black men by police is a common feature of African-American life and a source of dread for black parents from coast to coast.” Some facts: Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths. The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks. In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the U.S.—almost all killed by black civilians—resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. None of those killings triggered mass protests; they are deemed normal and beneath notice. The police, by contrast, according to published reports, kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The percentage of black suspects killed by the police nationally is 29 percent lower than the percentage of blacks mortally threatening them."

Joe bob says check it out.



Irony: the same people condemning those exercising their 1st Amendment right to free speech are generally the strongest advocates for the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

To blame the dialogue about police brutality for the deaths of these two is to be NO different than those who accuse all police officers of being racist.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:28 PM   #45
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1. Chant demands for dead cops during protests for Brown and Garner.

2. Protester then kills cops to avenge Brown and Garner.

3. Express shock and concern that protests will be 'derailed' by the violence.

Yea, if I were them, I wouldn't want to debate guilt or blame either to try to quiet their conscience... mistakes were made and the shooter is already dead, so let the protests continue!
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:57 PM   #46
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Irony: the same people condemning those exercising their 1st Amendment right to free speech are generally the strongest advocates for the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
They have the freedom to say what they want, which they are clearly exercising. The rest of us also have the freedom to point out the rank hypocrisy and idiocy of what's said. And when what's said is "We want dead cops," the rest of us have the freedom to condemn this as hateful rhetoric that incited violence and to demand accountability.

Irony: the same people supporting the 1st Amendment rights of the protesters are generally the ones wanting to silence any criticism of the protesters.

Calling for dead cops is evil and insane. And I think it's odd that when a white cop kills a black man, black people attack Asians and Hispanics. (See also 1992 LA Riots.) It almost seems racist...
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:29 PM   #47
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1. Chant demands for dead cops during protests for Brown and Garner.

2. Protester then kills cops to avenge Brown and Garner.

3. Express shock and concern that protests will be 'derailed' by the violence.

Yea, if I were them, I wouldn't want to debate guilt or blame either to try to quiet their conscience... mistakes were made and the shooter is already dead, so let the protests continue!
You know the first link has been completely discredited, right? Your media is lying to you.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/fox-affil...understanding/

How many other articles are falsified? That one took only seconds to debunk.
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:49 PM   #48
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And can we stop pretending that the majority of those protesting Brown/Gardner's deaths are declaring violent war on the cops? Most just feel the cops were unjustly exonerated. The only significant violence from the protests has been the response from the armed cops in Ferguson.
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:54 PM   #49
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They have the freedom to say what they want, which they are clearly exercising. The rest of us also have the freedom to point out the rank hypocrisy and idiocy of what's said. And when what's said is "We want dead cops," the rest of us have the freedom to condemn this as hateful rhetoric that incited violence and to demand accountability.

Irony: the same people supporting the 1st Amendment rights of the protesters are generally the ones wanting to silence any criticism of the protesters.

Calling for dead cops is evil and insane. And I think it's odd that when a white cop kills a black man, black people attack Asians and Hispanics. (See also 1992 LA Riots.) It almost seems racist...
Straw man much??

basically 99.994% of the population will agree that "We want dead cops" rhetoric is disgusting, and they hate it. This would include about 99.9% of teh people that support or even join in the Fergusun or Staten Island protests



For what its worth, i don't particularly support either group of protestors, and think they are poor example to use as the "poster children" for people that want to point out incidences of police misconduct ----- but i think it is downright moronic to tar those groups by pointing to the action of one psychopath that has clearly been inching towards this inglorious moment in the sun for years.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:21 PM   #50
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Well whether these peaceful protests are responsible or not. The polcie have been warning for a month that having the city leaders supporting these "cops are Black killers" protests were dangerous. And it appears they were correct.
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:12 PM   #51
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I applaud your idealism, but that's a ridiculously naive notion... Banning something doesn't make it go away -- or even minimize its presence (hello, drugs!)
It does if you are serious about it. (Hello, Singapore!)
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:17 PM   #52
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Honest question: can I feel life-wrenching horror at yesterday's shooting AND think that we have a police brutality problem?
One, there is no such thing as "life-wrenching horror." Two, I'd recommend you think for yourself.
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:36 PM   #53
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It does if you are serious about it. (Hello, Singapore!)
Singapore - population 5 million
America - population 315 million

Good luck, Chuck!
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:40 PM   #54
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Singapore - population 5 million
America - population 315 million

Good luck, Chuck!
Singapore is a city state. America is a collection of independent states, correct? Which one of them doesn't have the wherewithal to do what little Singapore can do?
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:50 PM   #55
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VIDEO: NYPD Officers Assault Unarmed Teen As He Surrenders
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Bedford-Stuyvesant/Crime & Mayhem

NYPD Officer Hits Unarmed Teen in the Face With His Gun
By Murray Weiss on October 7, 2014 7:29am


BROOKLYN — Two NYPD officers are under criminal investigation after punching and using a gun to bash a 16-year-old suspect in the face despite the teen raising his hands to surrender, according to a video obtained by DNAinfo New York.

The surveillance footage obtained exclusively by “On The Inside" shows the two officers catch up to marijuana suspect Kahreem Tribble after a brief chase in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

As the teen stops running, one officer throws a punch at his face. Then, as the suspect raises his hands, the other officer hits him with his gun.

Tribble was arrested for possessing 17 small bags of marijuana and disorderly conduct on Aug. 29. At his arraignment, he pleaded guilty to a violation and was released with cracked teeth and bruises.

The officers from the 79th Precinct are now targets of a criminal investigation conducted by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau and Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

“What’s depicted on this video is troubling and warrants a thorough investigation,” Thompson told “On The Inside."

According to court records, law enforcement sources and the video, the encounter started in front of 1311 St. John’s Place at 2:20 a.m. when three anti-crime officers spotted the 6-foot-2 teen peering into the window of parked mini-van.

When the officers got out of their car to approach Tribble, he allegedly tossed away a small black canvas bag and took off running. The officers — one with his gun drawn — gave chase, concerned that the suspect had a weapon, sources said.

Shortly thereafter, Tribble slows down and stops and appears prepared to be arrested. But an officer, identified as Tyrane Isaac, rushes up to him and takes a swing at his head.

The teen ducks the blow and then can be seen retreating — with his hands up — to a storefront gate.

Officer David Afanador — his gun drawn — then catches up and rushes straight to Tribble, hitting him in the his face with his gun, breaking a front tooth and chipping another.

NYPD Officer Punches Brooklyn Teen With His Gun View Full Caption DNAinfo
On the video, Afanador then holsters his weapon and retraces his steps to retrieve the canvas bag, leaving Isaacs to put the cuffs on Tribble.

But before he does, Isaac punches Tribble again and pushes him onto his stomach.

The video ends with Afanador waving the bag in front of Tribble’s face before smacking him with it.

A third officer, identified as Christopher Mastoros, can be seen taking no action to help Tribble.

Police Commissioner William Bratton has seen the video and was angered and embarrassed by it, a source said.

“Clearly, Commissioner Bratton has seen the video and reacted very aggressively in the sense of saying there have to be consequences when anything is done the wrong way," said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday. He said he hadn't personally seen the footage, but was told what it showed.

“I see these videos as another piece of information that we need to use to improve the relationship between police and community and in many cases to heal the relationship between police and community.”

Sources say officials were particularly concerned about Afanador using his gun on the teen because it could have accidentally fired — injuring or killing him, another officer or an innocent bystander.

Afanador has been suspended without pay. Isaac was placed on modified duty, stripped of his badge and gun.

Both officers have been on the force for nine years and now face possible criminal charges and dismissal, sources say.

Mastoros, also a nine-year veteran, could face a departmental charge for failing to stop his colleagues, sources say. He is not part of the criminal probe.

Each of the officers has two other cases lodged against them by defendants alleging false arrest or being victims of excessive force, according to court records. The cases were not connected.

Mastoros made news two years ago when he was credited with helping save the life of a partner, Kevin Brennan, who survived being shot in the head after chasing a gunman into a Bushwick building.

The video is the latest to surface since the viral video of the tragic “choke hold” death of Eric Garner. Last week, Bratton told a confab of top NYPD officials that he was committed to rooting out bad apples engaged in brutality and corruption.

Sources say Internal Affairs was tipped off to the Tribble video a few days after his arrest. Roughly two weeks ago, IAB supervisors brought their findings to Thompson to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

Patrick Lynch, the police union president, said the tape does not tell the entire tale.

“As usual, the video fails to capture the offense that resulted in police action or the lengthy foot pursuit that culminated in the arrest," he said.

"Situations like this one happen in real time under great stress. It’s very easy to be judgmental in the comfort of an office while sitting in front of a video screen."

Tribble’s lawyer, Amy Rameau, told "On The Inside" that her client was heading home from a friend's apartment when the officers chased him.

"My client was minding his own business and they decided to chase him for no reason," she said. "Their account is concocted to justify what they did, to cover their asses, to legitimize their criminal conduct."

She said in addition to suffering broken teeth, Tribble was bleeding from his mouth and "begging for medical attention," but was only sent to Interfaith Hospital when other officers at Central Booking saw him.

She said she plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the NYPD and the officers.

The clash has left the teen "petrified" of police and "traumatized and fearful that they will come after him again."
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:58 PM   #56
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Video: NYPD Officer Assaults Handcuffed Teen WHO WAS INNOCENT AND UNINVOLVED

Ten police officers stand by as a plainclothers officer assaults a teenager. Not one intervenes.

SEE IT: NYPD plainclothes officer delivers body blows to youth as he's being cuffed, gets suspended pending investigation
The video, taken on Monday, shows Officer John McDevitt — an anti-crime cop from the 7th Precinct — running up and punching an assault suspect after the teen was handcuffed against a car and surrounded by three uniformed officers on East Broadway near Clinton St., officials said. (WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE)
BY ROCCO PARASCANDOLA , BARRY PADDOCK , THOMAS TRACY POLICE BUREAU CHIEF Published: Friday, December 19, 2014, 1:41 AM Updated: Saturday, December 20, 2014, 2:22 AM A A A

The plainclothes NYPD cop caught on video repeatedly punching a teenage suspect on the lower East Side has been stripped of his gun and shield as Internal Affairs investigates the circumstances of the arrest, police said Friday.

“That officer has been suspended pending the investigation going forward,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

Police said two suspects, including the one struck, were arrested for assaulting another person with a cane.Police said two suspects, including the one struck, were arrested for assaulting another person with a cane.PreviousNextA 12-year-old African American child is seen viciously punched by a plainsclothed police officer after he was pinned to the side of a police car. A 12-year-old African American child is seen viciously punched by a plainsclothed police officer after he was pinned to the side of a police car. A 12-year-old African American child is seen viciously punched by a plainsclothed police officer after he was pinned to the side of a police car. A 12-year-old African American child is seen viciously punched by a plainsclothed police officer after he was pinned to the side of a police car. Enlarge

The video, taken on Monday, shows Police Officer John McDevitt — an anti-crime cop from the 7th Precinct — running up and punching an assault suspect after the teen was handcuffed against a car and surrounded by three uniformed officers on East Broadway near Clinton St., officials said.

Police said they responded to numerous 911 calls for an assault in progress.

Three teens were arrested on allegations of bashing a 20-year-old man with a cane after punching and kicking him. Their charges were dropped before the video was released.



rparascandola@nydailynews.com
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:06 PM   #57
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NYPD Breaks Into House and Murders/"Executes"/"Assassinates" Unarmed Teen

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Ramarley Graham, Unarmed Teen, Unlawfully Shot By New York Police, Lawyer Says
Posted: 02/09/2012 7:51 pm EST Updated: 12/04/2012 4:48 pm EST

The killing of Ramarley Graham, a Bronx teenager, by police has sparked large street protests.

NEW YORK -- A week after police shot to death an unarmed 18-year-old in his grandmother's Bronx apartment, questions continue to swirl around the aggressive police tactics that led to the fatal confrontation.

Ramarley Graham died last Thursday after Richard Haste, 30, a New York police officer, entered his grandmother's apartment and shot Graham in the chest while he attempted to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. Graham was unarmed and police did not have a warrant to enter the home.

Graham's death has sparked street protests in Wakefield, a low-income neighborhood with a large African-American and Caribbean immigrant population. "They had no business kicking down the door. They went too far," said Tyrone Harris, 27. "They need to go to jail just like any other citizen."

Jeffrey Emdin, an attorney representing Graham's mother, called the police tactics unlawful. "They illegally entered the home," Emdin said. "They had no right to be inside. They had no right to use force."

Protesters linked the shooting to the NYPD's aggressive street policing program, called "stop-and-frisk," which predominantly targets low-income minority neighborhoods. In 2011, the program stopped and searched more than 500,000 New Yorkers, 85 percent of them black or Latino. The searches contributed to a record number of misdemeanor marijuana arrests last year.

"The public has every reason to question whether this shooting was the product of the NYPD marijuana arrest crusade, or whether it's the product of their hyper-aggressive stop-and-frisk program," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

"This isn't just the collateral damage of policing in a big city," Lieberman said. "The NYPD has adopted certain policies that are off the charts."

The NYPD did not respond to several requests for comment. But at a press conference last week, police Commissioner Ray Kelly expressed concern over Graham's death. "At this juncture we see an unarmed person being shot," he said. "That always concerns us."

The Bronx district attorney's office is investigating, with plans to present evidence to a grand jury for potential criminal charges. In the meantime, the shooting officer and his supervisor have been relieved of their weapons and placed on restricted duty, police said.

Whether charges are brought against officers will hinge on details investigators glean about the events surrounding the shooting.

Police officials said that members of a street narcotics squad broadcast over their radios that they saw the butt of a gun in Graham's waistband as he left a convenience store, under observation for suspected drug activity. The young man then fled up the block to his home after two plainclothes officers in an unmarked squad car told him to stop, officials said.

Footage from private surveillance cameras shows Graham walking into his grandmother's apartment building, a three-story home on a residential street.

Police officers, guns drawn, quickly follow and attempt to kick down the front door after finding it locked. In the back of the building, other officers swarm in through a rear apartment. The cameras do not capture what transpired inside, but officers quickly entered Graham's grandmother's apartment on the second floor. They did not have a search warrant.

The large number of officers at the house indicated that Graham wasn't likely to escape and that officers could have waited to obtain a warrant before storming the apartment, said Emdin, the Graham family's attorney.

"They can't take matters into their own hands like this and violate the Constitution," Emdin said.

John Wesley Hall, a criminal defense attorney in Little Rock, Ark. who has argued cases involving police searches before the Supreme Court, said a police suspicion that Graham might be carrying an illegal handgun was insufficient justification for entering the home without a warrant.

"If they thought he had a gun, they should have stopped him on the street and not waited for him to go inside," Hall said. "Any reasonable officer would have known that they needed a warrant to get into the house."

The most crucial question facing Haste, the shooting officer, will surround his actions inside the apartment.

Haste's partner told investigators that Haste identified himself as a police officer, told Graham to "show his hands" and then yelled "gun, gun" before firing, Kelly said.

But Graham's grandmother maintains that officers did not announce their presence entering her home and that Haste did not say anything to Graham before shooting him, Emdin said.

"I asked her if they said 'police' when they entered," Emdin said. "She says 100 percent no."

Emdin also questioned an initial police account describing the shooting. In statements to reporters the day of Graham's death, chief NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne said that Graham "struggled" with Haste in the bathroom before the fatal shot.

But at a press conference the next day, Kelly, the NYPD commissioner, answered 'no' when asked whether investigators still believed a struggle had taken place.

"Who told them that? Why did they retract that one day later?" Emdin said.

The NYPD did not respond to emailed questions regarding department policies on warrantless searches, or inconsistencies in the police account of the shooting.

The New York Daily News, citing an anonymous police source, reported Thursday that Commissioner Kelly recently ordered a "high level review" of the Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, responsible for the deadly raid.
The officer who shot Graham hadn't been trained in street-level narcotics work or plainclothes work, the paper said.
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:11 PM   #58
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NYPD Officers Cheer Teen's Murderer

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Ramarley Graham's Father, Franclot Graham, Blasts NYPD Officers For Cheering For Richard Haste (PHOTOS)
Posted: 06/14/2012 2:36 pm EDT Updated: 06/14/2012 2:36 pm EDT

The father of Ramarley Graham, the unarmed teen who was shot and killed by NYPD officer Richard Haste in February, expressed his disappointment and anger after fellow officers applauded in Haste's support outside a Bronx courtroom on Wednesday.

Franclot Graham told DNAinfo, "It just goes to show they’re all part of the same thing. They were cheering him on for killing someone."

After Haste posted his $50,000 bail on Wednesday, Graham's wife Constance Malcolm similarly said, "That's how they work. You see it everyday." An attorney for the Graham family further denounced the insensitive display and said, "There is nothing to cheer here. A young man lost his life, and that is the man who took that life. It puts salt in the wounds."

Following intense anti-NYPD sentiment over the incident and the national uproar sparked by the tragic Trayvon Martin shooting, Haste was indicted on manslaughter charges. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

As Haste exited the courtroom on Wednesday, NYPD colleagues cheered in support, while demonstrators slammed the NYPD chanting, "NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?"

Haste's indictment marks the first time an NYPD officer has faced criminal charges in a fatal shooting since 2006's Sean Bell killing, in which Bell was celebrating his Bachelor party the night before his wedding when former detective Gescard Isnora and three other officers fired 50 shots at Bell and friends.

Although Isnora claims he overheard one of the men say, "Go get my gun," it was later revealed all men were unarmed.
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:14 PM   #59
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Pig-Semen Sucking Judge Lets Killer Cop Off Hook

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Ramarley Graham Case: Judge Tosses Indictment Against Richard Haste, NYPD Cop Who Killed Bronx Teen
Posted: 05/15/2013 12:06 pm EDT Updated: 05/15/2013 12:17 pm EDT RAMARLEY GRAHAM

A Bronx judge Wednesday tossed out an indictment against an NYPD cop who shot and killed a Bronx teen.

ABC reports the judge said an assistant district attorney made an accidental mistake when presenting the manslaughter charges against Officer Richard Haste to the grand jury in the death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham.

"This is an outrageous miscarriage of justice and an insult to the family and supporters of Ramarley Graham," Reverend Al Sharpton said in a statement. "We demand that a new Grand Jury is convened immediately and that the case is re-presented. We will be rallying and planning direct action at National Action Network’s Saturday action rally. The family will be present."

And Frank Graham, father of the slain teen, said they'd keep fighting for justice.

“If it means going back to the grand jury or if we have to ask the federal court to deal with this case; we are going to keep fighting no matter what,” he said in a statement. “Where ever it leads us we will go there. We will never stop until justice is served in this case, until Richard Haste goes to prison for murdering our son. If we start over, we will start stronger!”

According to ABC, prosecutors will get another chance to present the case to a grand jury.

In February of 2012, Haste and his partner followed Graham into his grandmother's apartment where Graham was attempting to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. Haste fatally shot Graham, who was unarmed, in the chest. The officers did not have a warrant to be inside the home.

Haste later turned himself in on manslaughter charges, to which he plead not guilty.

Last week Judge Steven L. Barrett expressed concern that the Bronx DA's office had erroneously told the grand jury, who voted to indict Haste, to disregard evidence that the officer received a warning from other officers that Graham was armed.

No weapon was ever uncovered from the scene.

Graham's death increased already fraught tensions between the NYPD and the Bronx black community. In the weeks after he died, demonstrators gathered outside the 47th precinct and chanted, "NYPD: KKK!" Bronx black community.
In the weeks after he died, demonstrators gathered outside the 47th precinct and chanted, "NYPD: KKK!"
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:25 PM   #60
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Video: NYPD Cop Punches Teen For Smoking Cigarette; Teen Suffers Brain Damage

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VIDEO: Cop’s knockout hit that family says gave teen brain damage
BY DANIELLE FURFARO
The Brooklyn Paper
October 10, 2014 / Brooklyn news / Clinton Hill

A police officer apparently knocked out a Clinton Hill teen with one blow after stopping him for smoking a cigarette, hitting him so hard he now has neurological problems, according to the boy’s family.

Lawyers for Marcel Hamer say he was walking home from a store down Gates Avenue with friends near Waverly Avenue around 3:30 pm on June 4, when the plainclothes cop jumped out of a blue van and accused him of smoking marijuana. He and his friends started to run, then stopped, Hamer told a registered nurse at Brooklyn Hospital Center. The cop caught up to him, pushed him to the ground, and Hamer hit his left arm on a planter rail, after which he couldn’t move it, he said, according to medical records.

A video of the incident picks up with Hamer lying in the gutter, pleading with the officer to lay off as the cop holds him by the right hand, which according to Hamer’s account in medical records is handcuffed. The undercover orders, “Turn around.”

“Mister, it was just a cigarette, sir,” Hamer says, without rolling over.

Teens, apparently friends of Hamer’s, hover nearby and the officer turns to one, still holding Hamer, and threatens him.

“Do you wanna get f----- up?” the cop says.

The moment of the apparent knockout blow is partially obscured in the footage, but the officer appears to punch Hamer in the face with his left hand, prompting protests from Hamer’s friends.

“Yo, you wiling!” one teen says to the officer.

“Yeah, get it on film,” the cop retorts.

The officer then repeats his order for Hamer to “turn around,” but Hamer is lying completely prone.

“You knocked him out!” a female friend yells.

“Wake up, Cello,” another friend says.

A second man, apparently also an undercover officer, runs over and helps the first cop put cuffs on the apparently unconscious teen, and at one point reaches into his back pocket. Hamer lies unmoving in the 45 seconds between the punch and the video’s end.

“You going to jail on that one,” another teen says.

Hamer came to when paramedics were lifting him onto a stretcher and complained of blurred vision, a headache, and being unable to properly move his left arm, medical records show. He was handcuffed in his hospital bed and officers sat beside him during treatment, according to the records.

It is unclear what happened in the moments leading up to the punch, but Hamer’s family is calling for the officer to be criminally prosecuted.

“If what happened on this video was reversed and Marcel assaulted this officer in the same exact manner, Marcel would be prosecuted, and this officer should be prosecuted for what he did,” said attorney James Ross, who is handling the family’s civil suit.

Hamer, now 17, has suffered from headaches, dizziness, and memory loss since the incident, his mom said.

“He is always complaining of headaches and he cannot remember things,” Mary Hamer said. “He used to be pretty sharp, and now I am helping him.”

Retired state Supreme Court judge William Thompson is also a member of the legal team working on the case and said the incident is a symptom of a larger cultural problem in the NYPD.

“It is pervasive now, throughout the department,” said attorney William Thompson. “It is indicative of an attitude in the police department that is, ‘Them against us. Let’s do whatever we want.’ ”

The attorneys declined to release the name of the officer responsible. Hamer was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and pleaded guilty to a violation, according to Ross.

The NYPD would not comment on the incident other than to say that it is under investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

The law firm released the video the same day as another piece of footage surfaced showing officers in Bedford-Stuyvesant punch and pistol-whip an unarmed teen who has his hands raised in surrender. Police arrested the teen for marijuana possession, according to a report by DNAinfo.

On Oct. 2, police Commissioner Bill Bratton vowed to clean up the NYPD at a conference of department commanders.

“We will aggressively seek to get those out of the department who should not be here,” he said, according to reports. “The brutal, the corrupt, the racist, the incompetent.”

Grim gathering: The family of Marcel Hamer, center, says that a police officer stopped him while he was walking down a Clinton Hill street smoking a cigarette in June and knocked him out for no reason. His mom, left, is now suing police with the help of lawyer James Ross, right.
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:36 PM   #61
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Video: NYPD Officer Threatens Restaurant Patron With Rape and Sodomy

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NYPD Sgt.’s filthy tirade captured in shocking cellphone video
By Kirstan ConleyMay 21, 2012 | 4:00am
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WATCH: NYPD Sgt.’s filthy tirade captured in shocking cellphone video
WORKING BLUE: Sgt. Lesly Charles spews a disgusting series of insults at a group of citizens in a cellphone video supplied to The Post.
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WORKING BLUE: Sgt. Lesly Charles spews a disgusting series of insults at a group of citizens in a cellphone video supplied to The Post. (
)

A uniformed NYPD sergeant was caught on video unleashing a vulgar tirade against a group of Brooklyn men — threatening them with his gun even while condoning their criminal behavior, The Post has learned.

Sgt. Lesly Charles even indicated that some criminal activity is apparently OK on his beat — as long as he’s paid proper respect.

“You guys are hustling or whatever, I ain’t got no problem with that. Listen . . . do your thing,” Charles barked during the April 28 diatribe, which is now being investigated by the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. “But when I come around and I speak, you f–king listen. Tell your boys.”

The surly sergeant apparently was angry over a car that was illegally parked on Ditmas Avenue in the Kensington section.

His rant against the men was recorded on a 20-minute cellphone video obtained exclusively by The Post.

The footage includes Charles berating a young man in the roadway near a silver BMW, telling him: “This is my street. All right? If you got to play tough, that’s your problem . . . I do whatever the f–k I want.”

A short time later, Charles followed the group into the nearby No. 1 Chinese Food restaurant, flanked by two plainclothes cops.

“I have the long d–k. You don’t,” the cop bragged.

“Your pretty face — I like it very much. My d–k will go in your mouth and come out your ear. Don’t f–k with me. All right?”

After the target of his tirade insisted, “I didn’t do anything,” Charles retorted, “Listen to me. When you see me, you look the other way. Tell your boys, I don’t f–k around. All right?”

“I’ll take my gun and put it up your a– and then I’ll call your mother afterwards. You understand that?”

For good measure, the sergeant added: “And I’ll put your s–t in your own mouth.”

Charles added, “I’m here every f–king day. I don’t go home. I have no life. No kids. I do what I do.’’

The 21-year-old man who shot the video — and provided it to The Post on the condition of anonymity — was arrested that night and charged with disorderly conduct, which court records show was for ignoring the cops’ orders to leave.

Police sources said he has been arrested more than 20 times, including for petit larceny and weapons and pot possession.

An NYPD spokeswoman said the department is investigating the incident.
The man’s lawyer, David Zelman, said it was troubling that “there were other cops by [Charles’] side, and they seemed to take it in stride.”

Charles, reached at home yesterday, said, “I’m just doing God’s work. You know I can’t comment . . . Have a blessed day.”

A source close to the sergeant said that in the past, “all efforts at civility failed’’ in dealing with the men. They are known to loiter and play loud music, prompting complaints from local businesses, law-enforcement sources said.

“The sergeant was trying to get the message across in a way they could understand,’’ the source said.
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:38 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by chumdawg View Post
One, there is no such thing as "life-wrenching horror." Two, I'd recommend you think for yourself.
The irony here is AMAZING. You tell me how I can and cannot think and feel and then tell me to think for myself in the most condescending of ways. Genius.
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:43 PM   #63
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Brooklyn Police Officers Investigated In Series of Cases For Planting Evidence; Officers Stood to Receive Rewards for Fictitious "Informants"

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In Brooklyn Gun Cases, Suspicion Turns to the Police
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORDDEC. 11, 2014

The tip comes from a confidential informer: Someone has a gun. Ten or more minutes later, police officers find a man matching the informer’s detailed description at the reported location. A gun is discovered; an arrest is made.

That narrative describes how Jeffrey Herring was arrested last year by police officers in the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. It also describes the arrests of at least two other men, Eugene Moore and John Hooper, by some of the same officers.

The suspects said the guns were planted by the police.

There were other similarities: Each gun was found in a plastic bag or a handkerchief, with no traces of the suspect’s fingerprints. Prosecutors and the police did not mention a confidential informer until months after the arrests. None of the informers have come forward, even when defense lawyers and judges have requested they appear in court.

Taken individually, the cases seem to be routine examples of differences between the police account of an arrest and that of the person arrested. But taken together, the cases — along with other gun arrests made in the precinct by these officers — suggest a pattern of questionable police conduct and tactics.

Mr. Moore’s case has already been dismissed; a judge questioned the credibility of one of the officers, Detective Gregory Jean-Baptiste, saying he was “extremely evasive” on the witness stand.

Mr. Hooper spent a year in jail awaiting trial, eventually pleading guilty and agreeing to a sentence of time served after the judge in his case called the police version of events “incredible.”

In another example, Lt. Edward Babington, one of the four officers in Mr. Herring’s case, was involved in a federal gun case that was later dismissed and led to a $115,000 settlement. In that case, a federal judge said she believed that the “officers perjured themselves.”

Debora Silberman, a public defender at Brooklyn Defender Services, has been fighting Mr. Herring’s arrest, filing a two-inch-thick motion detailing the problems with his case and the similarities to others.

On Thursday, after inquiries from The New York Times, prosecutors said that they were re-evaluating the case.

Ms. Silberman said she had always believed Mr. Herring. “Nothing in his story has ever changed,” she said.

Claims of Fabrication

She and another defense lawyer, Scott Hechinger, have suggested in court papers that a group of officers invents criminal informers, and may be motivated to make false arrests to help satisfy department goals or quotas. They also question whether the police are collecting the $1,000 rewards offered to informers from Operation Gun Stop, especially in cases where the informers never materialize.

Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster, a spokeswoman for the Police Department, said investigators from the Internal Affairs Bureau were looking at the officers’ conduct in these cases. “Any allegations that are made in regards to the credibility” of the officers “are taken very seriously,” she said, adding that programs like Gun Stop protected the anonymity of informers, and that there were layers of oversight “to ensure that the integrity of the program is solid.”

While the individual officers declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment, spokesmen for their unions noted that this group had removed more than 300 guns from the streets and the cases were solid.

Mr. Herring was standing outside his apartment on the afternoon of June 4, 2013, next to his bike, when, the police said, he reached into a white plastic bag and removed a gun, putting it in a black plastic bag. He tossed that bag in the bushes — the entire sequence witnessed by a plainclothes officer, the police said.

Mr. Herring said he had been running errands, making stops at C-Town, Bargain Land and a dollar store. When the police told him he was being arrested for gun possession, he said, he was shocked.

Mr. Herring, 52, had been arrested three other times, twice for drugs and once for burglary; he had not been arrested again until this gun case, records show. He said that he had not used drugs since 1997, and that he most certainly did not have a gun when he was arrested in 2013.

“I’m in front of the building,” he said, questioning the police’s account, “waving a gun like some maniac?”

Ms. Silberman first learned of potential problems with the officers’ credibility when prosecutors in Mr. Herring’s case disclosed that testimony by Detective Jean-Baptiste had been challenged by a judge in an evidence-suppression hearing on a gun case in 2013.

Ms. Silberman called the defense lawyer in that case, Jeffrey Chabrowe, and was surprised to hear how similar the cases were.

Mr. Chabrowe’s client, Eugene Moore, had been arrested on a gun possession charge by Detective Jean-Baptiste, who is now retired, and Sgt. Vassilios Aidiniou. Those officers, along with Lieutenant Babington and Officer Jean Gaillard, participated in Mr. Herring’s arrest.

Like Mr. Herring, Mr. Moore had been standing next to a bike in the afternoon, the police said, and had stored a gun in a white plastic bag underneath containers of takeout food. There was also a criminal informer involved, the police said.

Mr. Moore, who could not afford bail, spent a year in jail before an October 2013 hearing on the case. At that hearing, Detective Jean-Baptiste said the informer had told the police that “they were with someone” with a gun in a white plastic bag, on bikes, heading toward Rutland Road and Rockaway Parkway.

Police officers arrived about 20 minutes later, and — even though the suspected gunman was supposed to be bicycling — they found Mr. Moore standing at the same intersection, next to a bicycle with a white bag on the handlebars.

Detective Jean-Baptiste went on to give conflicting testimony about the informer and the circumstances of the arrest. Justice William Harrington of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn called the detective “extremely evasive” and said he did not find him “to be credible.” The judge suppressed the gun evidence, and Mr. Moore’s case was dismissed and sealed.


Ms. Silberman then found another case involving Lieutenant Babington, Detective Jean-Baptiste and Sergeant Aidiniou, handled by a colleague at Brooklyn Defender Services, Renee Seman.

In that case, Mr. Hooper was standing on the street when Detective Jean-Baptiste, in plainclothes, approached from behind, tipped off, the police said, by an informer. At that very moment, the police said, Mr. Hooper reached into his pocket, took out a gun wrapped in a red bandanna and threw it in the trash.

Prosecutors declined to bring the confidential informer in that case to court, so a hearing was held to determine if the officer’s observations sufficed as probable cause for the arrest. In that hearing, in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, Detective Jean-Baptiste described how he had first seen a bulge in the shape of a gun in the defendant’s pocket, even as he acknowledged that he was a car-length away and that the defendant was wearing a long shirt and baggy pants.

“Supposedly this defendant doesn’t see the police coming, but elects out of nowhere to take the object out of his pants pocket and dump it in a garbage can?” Justice Guy J. Mangano said. “I find it incredible that they thought it was a gun.”

Before Justice Mangano made a decision in the case, the district attorney offered Mr. Hooper a plea deal for time served — he had spent almost a year in jail — and Mr. Hooper agreed.

Other questionable cases arose.

In 2007, federal prosecutors brought a case against Terry Cross, who was arrested after the police saw him in the backyard of a house where drug dealing was suspected. Officers found a gun in a gray plastic bag near where Mr. Cross was standing, as well as marijuana, the police said. Gun and drug charges were filed.

In that case, too, there was a confidential informer, the police said, and the defendant asked prosecutors to bring that person to court. Prosecutors opposed the motion, and later said the informer had died.

Lieutenant Babington and a partner, Victor Troiano, along with two other officers, testified in pretrial hearings in 2008. Afterward, the District Court judge, Dora L. Irizarry, said the officers’ testimony “was just incredible, and I say ‘incredible’ as a matter of law.”

“I believe these officers perjured themselves,” Judge Irizarry added. “In my view, there is a serious possibility that some evidence was fabricated by these officers.”

She granted Mr. Cross’s motion to suppress certain statements. The case was then dismissed at the prosecutors’ request. Mr. Cross brought a civil suit against the police officers and the city, which was settled in 2010 for $115,000.

In another federal gun possession case, which went to trial in 2008, prosecutors considered statements by Lieutenant Babington and Officer Troiano, who is now retired, to be “inconsistent testimony.” The defendant was acquitted after one hour of deliberations.

That same year, a judge’s decision in another gun possession case involved Lieutenant Babington and Officer Troiano. According to the police, one of them was told by an informer the name, location and description of a man with a gun. The officers arrived at the location, recovered a gun and ammunition and arrested the man. A Criminal Court judge in Brooklyn, Ruth E. Smith, ordered prosecutors to bring the informer to court; they did not.

Judge Smith found the prosecution’s efforts to get in touch with the informer insufficient and suppressed the gun and ammunition evidence. The case was dismissed and sealed.

The Legal Aid Society reviewed its files and found several gun possession cases involving at least two of the officers in which the charges had been dismissed, and even more cases in which they had been reduced to lesser offenses in plea agreements.

“When we have gun cases, they don’t go away fast,” said Justine M. Luongo, attorney-in-charge of the criminal practice of Legal Aid. “You look at the total number of dismissals for these officers and over all for the 67th Precinct, and they’re really high.”

Back in Court

Mr. Herring is scheduled to appear on Monday in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, where Justice Dineen Riviezzo has ordered the prosecutor, Gregory D. Basso, to produce the confidential informer. A judge has already ordered Mr. Basso to do this once, and Mr. Basso has not. Justice Riviezzo noted that this case was about “credibility.”

Eric Gonzalez, the chief assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, said prosecutors would make every effort to produce the criminal informer on Monday, and if that was not possible, might reconsider pursuit of the case “because of the underlying allegations with the team of officers.”

Mr. Herring, who has been out of jail on $3,500 bail that his sister posted, said the arrest left him feeling humiliated.

“I don’t know why I’m in this situation. I thought maybe when I cleaned up my life, I’d never be back,” he said. “Why do these people want to prosecute me and have me convicted of this crime that I didn’t do? I just don’t understand it.”
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:50 PM   #64
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New York Police Officer Assaults Judge While Other Officers Watch; DA Declines to Prosecute for "Lack of Evidence"

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Judge Thomas Raffaele's Alleged NYPD Attacker Won't Face Criminal Charges
Posted: 08/22/2012 5:14 pm EDT Updated: 08/22/2012 5:19 pm EDT

No criminal charges will be filed against an NYPD officer accused of violently striking a New York state Supreme Court justice in the throat in an unprovoked attack earlier this summer, the Queens district attorney said Wednesday.

Judge Thomas Raffaele, who reported the alleged assault, called the DA's decision "shocking" and accused the NYPD officers involved of lying to cover up their misconduct.

"For this to happen, for me to be attacked by a cop -- and for the cops to do this huge cover up -- it's really changing my view of the force," Raffaele told The Huffington Post.

Raffaele said he is strongly considering filing a lawsuit against the police department over the alleged attack. "It may be that there is no other option," he said.

In a statement, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said his office lacked the evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer "intentionally and unjustifiably" struck the judge.

"We find that there is insufficient evidence of criminality to support a charge that the police officer acted with intent to injure," Brown said.

The alleged assault on the judge happened as police officers were restraining a man who was reportedly chasing people with a metal pipe on a Queens street around midnight in early June.

Raffaele said he came upon two officers restraining the man and called 911 to request that more police respond to the scene, where a large group of people was gathering. The officer allegedly repeatedly drove his knee into the detained man's back, the judge said, causing some in the crowd to shout at him.

At that point, Raffaele said the officer flew into a rage, began screaming obscenities and randomly attacked several people in the crowd. He said he was hit in the throat with a military-style open hand chop that sent him to the hospital for the night.

"This was not some little punch or shove," he said. "It was an all-out military blow to my larynx."

Raffaele said that supervisory officers at the scene refused to take his complaint of being assaulted.

In June, the NYPD said that its internal affairs bureau was working with the Queens DA's office to investigate the judge's claims.

That investigation cleared the officers involved in the episode of criminal conduct.

"After an extensive and thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances of the matter -– that included multiple witness interviews and reviews of police reports and medical records -– my office has concluded that the facts do not warrant the filing of criminal charges," Brown said.

The matter will now be referred to the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board and to the NYPD "for any possible violation" of NYPD rules or procedures.

Brown said that his office had "no opinion" as to whether any administrative or procedural violations took place.

Raffaele criticized the DA's investigation as half-hearted and said that witnesses to the incident were not interviewed for nearly two months, and only after he complained about the slow progress of the probe.

He also accused several NYPD officers of lying about the events by saying that he had behaved "aggressively" toward them.

"I was really amazed that two or three of them lied about it," he said. "It's really damaging to the respect that I've had all my life for the police department."
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:00 PM   #65
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Off-Duty and "Undercover" Police Officers Involved in Motorcycle Gang Attack on Family; Driver Brutally Beaten as Officers Watch

Quote:
Prosecutor: Off-duty officer 'terrorized' family as SUV driver was beaten
By Susan Candiotti. Vivienne Foley and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 6:36 AM EDT, Thu October 10, 2013

Officer arrested in motorcycle-SUV clash
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
NEW: 2 arraigned bikers will testify before grand jury Friday, their lawyers say
Prosecutor says New York detective was "an active participant" in incident

The officer's lawyer says his client never got within 12 feet of the victim
7 motorcyclists face charges in the case, including 1 arrested Wednesday, police say

New York (CNN) -- Did a New York undercover detective join fellow motorcyclists in chasing and catching an SUV driver, then terrorize his family as he was dragged from the vehicle and beaten?

That's what a prosecutor argued Wednesday, when Wojciech Braszczok was charged with first-degree gang assault and first-degree assault -- both felonies -- and third-degree criminal mischief in connection with a September 29 incident on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

"(What happened) can only be described as a brutal and brazen attack on the driver and his family, in which the defendant is an active participant," Assistant District Attorney Samantha Turino said in court.

Saying much of what transpired is captured on video, Turino put Braszczok, who was off-duty and riding with his motorcycle club at the time, among what she called a "mob of motorcyclists" who pursued Alexian Lien, dragged him from his Range Rover, then "stomped on, kicked and hit (him) with helmets until he appeared to lose consciousness."

The 32-year-old Braszczok got off his bike after Lien, after being hemmed in by motorcyclists, ran over a few of them trying to escape, Turino said. He then joined bikers who chased Lien off the West Side Highway and onto 178th Street, where Lien stopped for good.

As the SUV driver was being beaten, the prosecutor said, Braszczok "terrorize(d) the rest of the driver's family on the other side of the vehicle," including shattering the rear window and kicking in the passenger side rear door.

"It should be noted that the 2-year-old child of (Lien) was in the backseat at the time the defendant was committing these violent acts," said Turino.

Braszczok's lawyer, John Arlia, firmly denied his client did anything wrong, saying his decision to go after someone who had run over motorcyclists doesn't constitute a crime.

Arlia questioned whether it was the 10-year New York police veteran who broke the SUV's window, saying it was already broken. The attorney also said that his client, a father of two who appeared in court wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and camouflage shorts, never got within 12 feet of the victim, much less hit him. Arlia said video from the scene shows as much.

"It's an absolute overcharge," Arlia said of the prosecution's case, saying that most of the motorcyclists didn't know each other. "... He is in no way near (Lien) and doesn't join the others. ... They can't prove it."

After both sides presented their cases, a judge set Braszczok's bail at $150,000 bond or $100,000 cash. He later posted bond and was released, according to his lawyer.

Braszczok's arraignment was not unexpected, as police indicated Tuesday he had been arrested. But the charges detailed then were less serious than those announced Wednesday.

Arlia told reporters that Braszczok is an undercover detective who has infiltrated various criminal organizations during his time in the New York Police Department, adding that he didn't have a criminal record.

He was one of at least two off-duty undercover officers who were riding with fellow bikers that day, a law enforcement official told CNN. Authorities have no information that the other officer, who was riding with Braszczok, played an active role in the incident, according to a law enforcement official.

Braszczok allegedly didn't inform supervisors that he was among the large group of bikers until two days after the incident. At that time, the prosecutor said, Braszczok denied being at the site of the confrontation. He changed his story, but denied participating in the beating, the next day, the prosecutor said.

The undercover police officer wasn't the only motorcyclist tied up in the case Wednesday.

Clint Caldwell, a 32-year-old biker from Brooklyn, was also arraigned on first-degree gang assault and first-degree assault charges.

During Braszczok's hearing, Turino said that -- when the Range Rover was halted on 178th Street, after motorcyclists cut off traffic -- Caldwell "charges the (broken) driver's side window ... and appears to strike (Lien) at least two times."

Speaking after his client's arraignment, lawyer Raymond L. Colon said video will show Caldwell opening the door of Lien's Range Rover, but not assaulting him.

"He asks him to pull over, shut the engine -- (Lien) just struck a couple of motorcyclists," Colon told reporters. "And that's all he did. There's no contact. You'll clearly see from the video he doesn't reach into the window. There is another individual standing next to him that does."

As with Braszczok, Judge Tamiko Amaker set Caldwell's bail at $150,000 bond or $100,000 cash.

Police said another person also was arrested Wednesday in connection with the case.

James Kuehne, a 31-year-old Brooklyn resident, faces charges of gang assault, criminal mischief and criminal possession of a weapon, according to police.
Confrontation between bikers, SUV driver in Manhattan

The incident was sure to get attention, taking place on one of the busiest roads in one of America's busiest cities. But the story caught on even more after video of the episode -- captured when motorcyclist Kevin Bresloff turned on his helmet camera after seeing a water bottle thrown from the SUV's sunroof toward the bikers, his attorney Andrew Vecere said -- went viral.

According to Turino, motorcyclists heading north on Manhattan's West Side Highway "were driving recklessly, ... obstructing vehicle traffic, running red lights, swerving between lanes" when one of them -- later identified as
Christopher Cruz -- quickly slowed down in front of Lien. Lien's vehicle then bumped Cruz's rear tire, slightly injuring him.

The Range Rover then pulled to a stop, at which point angry bikers surrounded his vehicle, hit it and spiked its tires, police said.

Lien's vehicle then began moving again -- plowing into three more bikers, including Edwin Mieses, whose wife, Dayana Mieses, said earlier this week has been told there's a 1% chance he'll never walk again.

As it moved away, the SUV was chased by motorcyclists, who caught up with it near the George Washington Bridge. Several bikers dismounted and approached the vehicle, with one of them opening its door, before Lien then drove away again.

Motorcyclists continued their pursuit, with some speeding ahead of him to help halt traffic. That's where the ordeal ended -- with Lien getting dragged out, kicked and hit. He suffered cuts to each eye, his right cheek, the left side of his body, and his lip, in addition to a pair of black eyes and abrasions to his hand, back and shoulder, according to Turino.

His wife and 2-year-old daughter were unharmed.
7 motorcyclists facing charges
Including Braszczok, Caldwell and Kuehne, seven people -- all motorcyclists -- have been or will be charged in the case, police said. Authorities, who have appealed for the public's help in identifying people in some photos, haven't ruled out more arrests or charges.

"In the last few days, serious charges have been brought against several defendants in last Sunday's attack," Erin Duggan, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, said Wednesday. "As we said from the beginning of the investigation, the NYPD and the District Attorney's Office are methodically scrutinizing the evidence to build the strongest possible cases in our continuing effort to hold accountable those responsible."

The other motorcyclists are:
• Christopher Cruz, 28, who police say is the biker who slowed in front of Lien, was charged with reckless driving and other misdemeanors. He has been released on bond.

His lawyer, H. Benjamin Perez, said, "He never tried to assault him in any way. And he does not know any of the other motorcyclists who were involved in this beating."

• Robert Sims, 35, is accused of stomping on Lien. He surrendered Friday on charges of attempted assault and gang assault.
• Reginald Chance, 37, who was captured on video smashing his helmet into the SUV's window, has been charged with first-degree assault and gang assault. He was ordered held on $75,000 bond on Sunday.

Turino said Chance's license had been suspended and he should not have been driving. She said his arrest record includes a marijuana charge in 2013 and attempted criminal possession of a weapon in 2006.

"The law does permit someone who is a victim of an accident to at least attempt to get the identification of the motorist," said Chance's attorney, Gregory Watts. "My client obviously overreacted in that manner, but he is not this thug assaulting someone who's harmless, contrary to the public opinion that's being put out there."

He said Chance was knocked off his motorcycle by Lien's SUV after bikers had surrounded the vehicle earlier.

• Craig Wright, 29, was arraigned Tuesday on gang assault and other charges and then ordered held on $150,000 bond. Wright is accused of stomping Lien at least twice after police say he and other motorcyclists forced the man's Range Rover to a stop, used their helmets to break out the window and dragged him out of the car.

According to court documents, police say Wright, 29, identified himself in a picture showing him standing near the stopped SUV. Another photograph shows him stomping Lien as the man lies on the ground, according to the documents.

Wright is charged with first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful imprisonment. He was arrested at his home in Brooklyn.

In March, Wright pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney said. It is unclear whether he was driving with a suspended license at the time of the SUV incident. He was also convicted in Virginia in 2005 for reckless driving.

Judge Amaker set Wright's next court date for Friday.

That's the same day the prosecution will present its case to a grand jury. Both Braszczok and Caldwell's lawyers, at the least, said their clients intend to testify then.

Defenders of the bikers, including relatives of Mieses, the critically injured biker, have criticized Lien for driving through the crowd of motorcycles.

Vecere, Bresloff's attorney, says his client hasn't been charged with a crime, and he doesn't expect him to be. He said police issued a warrant for the video, but Bresloff was going to turn it over anyway. He is cooperating with police, Vecere said.

"He was shocked" by what happened, the attorney said, adding that the case is "not black and white."
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:09 PM   #66
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NYPD Rookie Cop Shoots Unarmed, Innocent Public Housing Resident; Cop Texts Union Rep Instead of Calling for Emergency Medical Services as Victim Dies

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EXCLUSIVE: Rookie NYPD officer who shot Akai Gurley in Brooklyn stairwell was texting union rep as victim lay dying

In the six and a half minutes after Peter Liang discharged a single bullet that struck Gurley, 28, he and his partner couldn't be reached, sources told the Daily News. And instead of calling for help for the dying man, Liang was texting his union representative. What's more, the sources said, the pair of officers weren't supposed to be patrolling the stairways of the Pink Houses that night.

BY ROCCO PARASCANDOLA , OREN YANIV NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, December 5, 2014, 2:30 AM

While Akai Gurley was dying in a darkened stairwell at a Brooklyn housing development, the cop who fired the fatal bullet was texting his union representative, sources told the Daily News.

Right after rookie cop Peter Liang discharged a single bullet that struck Gurley, 28, he and his partner Shaun Landau were incommunicado for more than six and a half minutes, sources said Thursday.

In the critical moments after the Nov. 20 shooting, the cops’ commanding officer and an emergency operator — responding to a 911 call from a neighbor and knowing the duo was in the area — tried to reach them in vain, sources said.

“That’s showing negligence,” said a law enforcement source of the pair’s decision to text their union rep before making a radio call for help.

“The guy is dying and you still haven’t called it in?”

To make things even worse, the officers were uncertain of the exact address of the building in the Pink Houses they were in, according to their text messages, the sources said.

Blood is seen on the stairwell the day after the shooting. Sources say Liang texted his union representative instead of calling for help as Gurley lay dying.

The explosive details of the immediate aftermath following the shooting of Gurley are at the center of an investigation by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson — who is poised to present evidence to a grand jury as early as the end of this month.

The police shooting case is certain to command extra scrutiny after a Staten Island grand jury Wednesday declined to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

The two cops involved weren't supposed to be patrolling the Pink Houses' stairways that night, sources say.

Adding to the tragedy surrounding Gurley’s death, the officers involved were not supposed to be doing a patrol in the stairways, the sources said.

Deputy Inspector Miguel Iglesias, then the head officer of the local housing command, ordered them not to carry out such patrols, known as verticals.

He opted instead for exterior policing in response to a spate of violence at the East New York housing project.

“They’ve done verticals before,” a police source said of the two officers.

“But Iglesias’ philosophy was, ‘I want a presence on the street, in the courtyards — and if they go into the buildings they were just supposed to check out the lobby.”

Another source said the commander was furious after the shooting, raging, “I told them not to do verticals.”

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson is investigating.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton characterized the incident as an “unfortunate tragedy” and an accident. Officials said Liang was holding a flashlight in his right hand and a Glock 9-mm. in the other when he opened the door to the eighth-floor landing.

One bullet flew out and apparently ricocheted into the chest of Gurley, who was on the seventh-floor landing and taking the stairs with his girlfriend Melissa Butler, 27.

The victim stumbled down to the fifth floor and Butler knocked on a woman’s door on the fourth floor, pleading for help. That woman called 911, a source said.

The building's superintendent had reportedly asked NYCHA to fix the lights months earlier.

When Liang and Landau finally resurfaced on the radio, they reported an accidental discharge, added the source. Authorities have said they didn’t immediately know anyone was struck with the bullet.

The stairwell was pitch-black because the lights were out. The superintendent had asked NYCHA to fix the lights months before the fatal encounter. The problem was finally resolved hours after Gurley died.

While the shooting may have been a mishap, the cops’ subsequent conduct can amount to criminal liability, court insiders said.

The officers were supposed to be policing the exterior of the East New York development, says a police source.

“I would be surprised if it is not at least presented to a grand jury,” said Kenneth Montgomery, a lawyer for Gurley’s parents. “It’s a debacle and it speaks of criminal negligence.”

DA Thompson had called the shooting “deeply troubling” and promised “an immediate, fair and thorough investigation.”

A spokeswoman for his office had no comment Thursday. The NYPD also declined comment.

Gurley’s mother, Sylvia Parker, and stepfather, Kenneth Palmer, are scheduled to make their first public statements Friday morning, ahead of their son’s wake.

Gurley will be laid to rest Saturday.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:21 PM   #67
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High-Ranking Police Inspector Pepper Sprays Women Protesters Seated On Sidewalk; Faces No Criminal Charges, "Penalized" 10 Vacation Days

Quote:
Officer’s Pepper-Spraying of Protesters Is Under Investigation
By Al Baker and Joseph Goldstein
September 28, 2011 1:37 pm September 28, 2011 1:37 pm

Updated 8:44 p.m. | The police and Manhattan prosecutors are separately examining a high-ranking officer’s use of pepper spray on a number of female protesters at a demonstration on Saturday.
Update
Second Pepper Spray Video

A second video has emerged showing the use of pepper spray on protesters.

Go to Second Video »

Raymond W. Kelly, commissioner of the New York Police Department, said Wednesday that its Internal Affairs Bureau would look at the decision by the officer, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, to use pepper spray, even as Mr. Kelly criticized the protesters for “tumultuous conduct.”

At the same time, the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., has opened an investigation into the episode, which was captured on video and disseminated on the Internet, according to a person briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is continuing.

Inspector Bologna was identified on Wednesday in another video spraying others in the Occupy Wall Street demonstration with pepper spray. Recordings of the episodes show Inspector Bologna striding through a chaotic street scene along East 12th Street, where officers arrested some protesters and corralled others behind orange mesh netting.

Deputy Inspector Roy T. Richter, the head of the Captains Endowment Association, the union that represents the upper echelons of city officers, said Inspector Bologna, who formerly led the 1st Precinct and now works in counterterrorism, would “cooperate with whatever investigative body the police commissioner designates to perform this review.”

Inspector Richter continued: “Deputy Inspector Bologna’s actions that day were motivated by his concern for the safety of officers under his command and the safety of the public. The limited use of pepper spray effectively restored order without any escalation of force or serious injury to either demonstrator or police officer.”

While officers consider the use of pepper spray relatively low on the so-called continuum of force available to them, the videos, made by several protesters at different vantage points, have prompted a level of criticism of the police rarely seen outside of fatal police shootings of unarmed people. The independent city agency that investigates accusations of police abuse said that about 400 people had complained, many from out of state.

On Wednesday, in his first public comments on the matter, Mr. Kelly questioned whether the video offered enough context to evaluate the inspector’s actions.

Mr. Kelly said he did not know what precipitated the action, but seemed to offer a justification for it. He said the group was disorderly and “intent on blocking traffic” as it marched on University Place, returning to the financial district, where protesters have camped for more than a week.

While the department’s Patrol Guide says pepper spray should be used primarily to arrest a suspect who is resisting, or for protection, it does allow for its use in “disorder control” by officers with special training.

Asked about Inspector Bologna’s actions, Erin M. Duggan, the communication director for Mr. Vance’s office, said, “The district attorney’s office takes all allegations of police misconduct seriously.” She said the arrests made at the protest on Saturday, which the police have said numbered around 80, were “being reviewed under the standard procedure.”

In one video, Inspector Bologna walks up to a group of women standing on the sidewalk behind some orange netting, squirts pepper spray at them and walks away. In interviews, two of those women said that they had received no warning before being sprayed and that its use was unprovoked.

A law enforcement official familiar with Inspector Bologna’s account of what occurred, however, said he was not aiming at the four women who appeared in videos to have sustained the brunt of the spray. Rather, he was trying to spray some men who he believed were pushing up against officers and causing a confrontation that put officers at risk of injury, the official said.

“The intention was to place them under arrest, but they fled,” the official said.

In the second video posted on the Daily Kos political blog, showing a scene that apparently occurred just seconds later, Andrew Hinderaker, 23, a photographer, can be seen with a press card around his neck in the path of a mist of spray.

In an interview, Mr. Hinderaker said he had been on East 12th Street and saw officers drag a woman from behind a net and throw her on the ground. He stepped forward and photographed the scene, then started walking on a sidewalk toward University Place.

“I felt something wet on my hand and my face,” he said, adding that he was not sure who had sprayed him. Moments later, he said, “it started to burn.”

Afterward, Mr. Hinderaker said, he crossed paths with Inspector Bologna, who told him, “You better get out of here,” and added that he could be arrested.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:22 PM   #68
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Are you just Googling "police brutality" and reposting every article that comes up?
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:41 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underdog View Post
Are you just Googling "police brutality" and reposting every article that comes up?
No, sir, but that might be easier.

Just looking up a few cases I remember reading about in recent months/years. A lot of stuff going on in Brooklyn. And if you kind of look into the stories a bit, you see that not all of the officers involved are Caucasian, nor are they all street cops; and not all of the citizens who have been murdered/abused are African-American teen males. You have some police officers assaulting white females involved in Wall Street protests, and some other police officers involved in assaulting a Caucasaian, senior-citizen, sitting family court judge; still other police officers involved in the infamous motorcycle gang assault against the Asian family out for a family drive.

The point being that the current climate of citizens being fed up with police brutality and police abuse with the police not suffering any criminal indictments has been brewing long before Eric Garner's and Michael Brown's murders, long before DeBlasio was elected mayor. The police in the United States have been running amok for the last 10+ years, probably in the wake of 9/11. But the police in New York have a long history of racially-motivated brutality, predating Giuliani's administration even, though things were particularly bad as the NYPD felt like they had an ally in Giuliani, and knew that he wouldn't do anything to rein them in. The level of criminal corruption in the New York police department is astounding, and reaches up into the highest levels of NYPD leadership. Remember Giuliani's right-hand man police commissioner Bernard Kerik, George Bush's aborted nominee for Head of Homeland Security, who went to prison for accepting bribes, concealing income and lying to investigators?

The murders of the two police officers are tragic and senseless and unjustified, and were the work of a mentally ill career criminal.

But the negative perceptions of the NYPD didn't just appear in the wake of the murder of Eric Garner. It's a problem at least 20 years in the making, an artifact of 8 years of Giuliani, and 12 years of Bloomberg. And DiBlasio, the father of a mixed-race son, is left to deal with the fallout.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:01 PM   #70
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And here is what happens when an NYPD officer breaks ranks. Look up the name "Adrian Schoolcraft". Schoolcraft taped his supervisors who were demanding that officers in Brooklyn (again!) make weekly quotas of arrests/citations, which is illegal, and encouraging officers to harass and intimidate minority teens as a way of getting their fear/respect. When Schoolcraft started to go public with the tapes, a mob of his fellow police officers, including a high-ranking police lieutenant, raided his house, arrested him and ILLEGALLY committed him to a psych ward for 5 days, without notifying his family. Unfortunately for the police officers, Schoolcraft got the illegal raid and arrest on tape too.

Then after Schoolcraft moved out of New York City, some NYPD officers would drive HOURS to upstate New York, to illegally harass and threaten him with arrest at all hours of the night.

Quote:
City Police Commissioner and Councilman Clash
By AL BAKER
Published: June 3, 2010

To those in the City Council chamber on Thursday, the bitter exchange between Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Councilman Albert Vann over a letter from the lawmaker to the commissioner might have been confusing.

But behind the showdown, which was brief and vague, lies a months-long controversy involving charges of manipulated crime reports, quotas, the department’s street-stop tactics and several instances of questionable police behavior — an array of provocative charges being met with a blanket response from a department that says it is broadly investigating.

A tipping point for Mr. Vann came last month, after The Village Voice published transcripts of audio recordings of what it said were station house conversations made by an officer in the 81st Precinct, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, that laid bare what the newspaper’s report characterized as a pattern of pressure exerted by commanders there onto the precinct’s rank-and-file officers.

Mr. Vann was so concerned that he convened a meeting of elected officials, clergy members and community leaders on May 25. They wrote a letter to Mr. Kelly and delivered it to 1 Police Plaza the next day.

Mr. Vann has declined to make the letter public. But he said it noted the “secret tapings” cited in The Voice.

In repeating the charges in the audiotapes, Mr. Vann described the letter further, saying “it showed how innocent citizens were victimized; innocent people were arrested for no cause at all; how some of their complaints had been suppressed.”

“I mean,” he continued, “the whole array of inappropriate and perhaps, even, illegal action. So we reiterated that which was on the tapes and then we asked for him to take appropriate action.”

The issue popped up suddenly at a budget hearing on Thursday. It pierced an otherwise dry recitation of spending projections as Mr. Vann used his five minutes of speaking time to let Mr. Kelly know he was awaiting a response to or acknowledgment of the letter.

Mr. Kelly said he received it only on Tuesday.

The ensuing verbal sparring between the men moved fast. At one point, Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., the chairman of the Public Safety Committee, tried to tamp things down, only to be overrun.

“Before I respond to your letter, I need to find out the facts,” Mr. Kelly said to Mr. Vann. “You make allegations in that letter, and I need to find those facts before I respond.”

Mr. Vann shot back that the audiotapes stood on their own.

“We didn’t make allegations,” Mr. Vann said. “We responded to what was on the tapes; this is not hearsay.” He added: “You know what happened over there; we only responded to what is on the tapes, that cannot be denied.” He said he owed his constituents an update.

Mr. Kelly said it was not unusual, in the course of governmental give-and-take, for responses to take more than two days. Mr. Vann protested.

They traded a few more barbs before dropping the issue.

Afterward, Mr. Vann said he believed that the charges were so corrosive that they were damaging effective policing in the area. He said he would leave to others the job of discerning whether the conduct reported in the 81st Precinct was systemic in the Police Department. He said he had not called for an outside inquiry, though he was in touch with state lawmakers, as well as Representative Edolphus Towns.

Questions about conduct by some officers in the 81st Precinct go back four months, when The Daily News reported that an officer there, Adrian Schoolcraft, had come forward claiming that crime reporting was manipulated to improve the precinct’s statistics.

Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, confirmed then and again on Thursday that there was an internal inquiry on the matter. On Thursday, he said no one at the precinct, which is headed by Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello, had been disciplined in connection with Officer Schoolcraft’s accusations.

The department’s Office of Management Analysis and Planning’s quality-assurance division “is looking into charges by a police officer there that complaints were discouraged or not properly recorded,” Mr. Browne said.

When pressed, he acknowledged that the audiotape recordings disclosed in The Voice were part of that review. The Office of Management Analysis and Planning “is looking at this whole issue, and has been for some time,” Mr. Browne said.

Roy T. Richter, the president of the Captains’ Endowment Association, said he believed there was a “reasonable explanation,” for each of Officer Schoolcraft’s claims. He said Inspector Mauriello “has the overwhelming support of his community.”

Mr. Richter said he was confident that the department would investigate anyone whose voices were heard on the tapes. He said the recordings struck him as a kind of clipped station house “banter,” that was meant to be motivational but that might have veered into the inappropriate at times.

“It’s more meant as an informal approach versus a formal training,” he said. “It’s someone telling you in 30 seconds your function, and what you need to get done, when that explanation really requires all day.”
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:05 PM   #71
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Police commanders demand that officers meet illegal ticket quotas.

Quote:
Secret Tape Has Police Pressing Ticket Quotas
Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

Police commanders of the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn said each officer on day tour should write at least 20 summonses a week.
By AL BAKER and RAY RIVERA
Published: September 9, 2011

For nearly every New Yorker who has received a summons in the city — caught at a checkpoint monitoring seat-belt use, or approached by a small army of police officers descending on illegally parked cars — quotas are a maddening fact of life.

No matter how often the Police Department denies the existence of quotas, many New Yorkers will swear that officers are sometimes forced to write a certain number of tickets in a certain amount of time.

Now, in a secret recording made in a police station in Brooklyn, there is persuasive evidence of the existence of quotas.

The hourlong recording, which a lawyer provided this week to The New York Times, was made by a police supervisor during a meeting in April of supervisors from the 81st Precinct.

The recording makes clear that precinct leaders were focused on raising the number of summonses issued — even as the Police Department had already begun an inquiry into whether crime statistics in that precinct were being manipulated.

The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, did not respond Thursday to three e-mails and three phone calls requesting comments on the tape. He was sent extensive excerpts from the recording.

On the tape, a police captain, Alex Perez, can be heard warning his top commanders that their officers must start writing more summonses or face consequences. Captain Perez offered a precise number and suggested a method. He said that officers on a particular shift should write — as a group — 20 summonses a week: five each for double-parking, parking at a bus stop, driving without a seat belt and driving while using a cellphone.

“You, as bosses, have to demand this and have to count it,” Captain Perez said, citing pressure from top police officials. At another point, Captain Perez emphasized his willingness to punish officers who do not meet the targets, saying, “I really don’t have a problem firing people.”

The recording is the latest in a series of audiotapes from the precinct that have raised concerns among community leaders and residents of the neighborhoods it covers, Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant. Those Brooklyn residents contend that the tapes show a department fixated on the number of summonses and low-level arrests, and that the result is a pattern of harassment.

Critics say this is the flip side of CompStat, the Police Department analysis system that has been credited with bringing down major crimes but faulted as creating a numbers-driven culture.

Police officials have long denied the existence of a quota system, but they add that they do have “performance goals” they expect officers to meet.

A previous set of recordings of station-house roll calls was made in 2008 and 2009 by Patrol Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, who has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming retaliation after he reported accusations to the Internal Affairs Bureau.

Officer Schoolcraft accused supervisors in the precinct of manipulating crime statistics and enforcing ticket and arrest quotas, which are a violation of state labor law.

The accusations are at the center of a broad internal investigation of how the precinct recorded crime statistics. Amid the inquiry, Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello, who had been the commander at the 81st Precinct, was transferred in July to a transit district in the Bronx.

The latest recording was made on April 1, as the internal inquiry was under way, and after some of Officer Schoolcraft’s allegations had become public in The Daily News and The New York Post.

Inspector Mauriello invoked Officer Schoolcraft’s name at the April 1 meeting, as he warned precinct leaders about “rats coming out of here wearing tape recorders.”

The person who made the recording gave it this week to Officer Schoolcraft’s lawyer, Jon L. Norinsberg, in an effort to show that Officer Schoolcraft, who has been suspended from the force, was not alone.

“He wanted to do anything in his power to support Schoolcraft, and I think this is his way of corroborating Schoolcraft’s allegations,” said Mr. Norinsberg, who said the new recordings would be used as evidence in his case. “It is evidence the quota system is ongoing. Subsequent to the public revelations that have taken place, it’s business as usual in the N.Y.P.D.”

At one point in the new tapes, Inspector Mauriello introduced Captain Perez, who the supervisor said was second in command, as someone who “wants his summonses.”

“They’re counting seat belts and cellphones; they’re counting double parkers and bus stops,” Captain Perez said, referring to types of low-level summonses typically tracked by the department’s TrafficStat program. “If day tours contributed with five seat belts and five cellphones a week, five double-parkers and five bus stops a week, O.K.

“Your goal is five in each of these categories, not a difficult task to accomplish on Monday,” he added. “If it’s not accomplished by Monday, you’ve got to follow up with it on Tuesday. But there’s no reason it can’t be done by Thursday. So whatever I get by Friday, Saturday, Sunday is gravy. I’m not looking to break records here, but there is no reason we should be losing this number by 30 a week.”

Losing by 30 a week refers to a decline in the activity as reflected in departmental CompStat reports, which tally the weekly summons totals and the year-to-date totals for every command, said the person who made the recording. He spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation and of risking his standing with people in the department.

Asked if the conversations were evidence of a quota, he said, “Absolutely,” adding that he had seen evidence of it in several boroughs.

He added that his concerns about the precinct’s integrity led him to begin recording meetings, well before he had ever met Officer Schoolcraft.

Roy T. Richter, the president of the Captains Endowment Association, said he did not believe that what Captain Perez, a member of his union, said “articulates a quota.”

From several references in the new recording, and in a separate recording made after April 1 and given to Officer Schoolcraft’s lawyer, it is clear that Inspector Mauriello and other supervisors were out to push underproducing officers — and punish them if they did not deliver.

“What I plan on doing — three cops are getting bounced to midnights, and three midnight cops are getting bounced to day tours,” Captain Perez said in the April 1 meeting.

“I don’t care about people’s families, if they don’t want to do their job,” he said. “Their paycheck is taking care of their family. If they don’t realize that, they’re going to change their tour; they’re going to start being productive if they want a tour that works for their family.”

He explained how punishment for failure would proceed.

“After I bounce you to a different platoon for inactivity, the next thing is to put you on paper, start rating you below standards and look to fire you,” Captain Perez said on the tape.

“I really don’t have a problem firing people,” he continued. “I don’t need to carry you. So that’s the attitude that you’ve got to sell to the cops.”

At one point in the second recording, made after the tapes by Officer Schoolcraft were put online in May by The Village Voice, Inspector Mauriello told supervisors to get officers out of squad cars and onto the streets.

People in the community “think cops are on the take,” Inspector Mauriello said. “I know it ain’t true, but that’s what they say: ‘Man, I need help. I got drug dealers in front of my house, and they’re in their car and they’re not getting out, not moving them.’ ”

He also told supervisors not to emphasize specific numbers, even while pressing their officers for more activity. And at one point, he made clear the pressure he felt from his bosses.

“I’m going to get beat up,” Inspector Mauriello said. “Everybody took a shot at me at CompStat, like a piñata last time, so I’m expecting that again.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: September 11, 2010

Because of an editing error, an article and a headline on Friday about a Brooklyn police precinct that appeared to be using quotas for summonses described incorrectly the number that officers were expected to write each week. In a recording of a meeting at the precinct, supervisors said that officers on a particular shift should write — as a group — 20 summonses a week; they did not say that each individual officer should write 20 a week. An article about the police’s response to the accusations is on Page A15.
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Village Voice Breaks the Story. Secretly recorded tapes document how police commanders coerce street cops into making illegal arrests in order to manipulate crime stats for Giuliani's ballyhooed ComStat system.

Quote:
The NYPD Tapes: Inside Bed-Stuy's 81st Precinct
By Graham Rayman Tuesday, May 4 2010

Two years ago, a police officer in a Brooklyn precinct became gravely concerned about how the public was being served. To document his concerns, he began carrying around a digital sound recorder, secretly recording his colleagues and superiors.

He recorded precinct roll calls. He recorded his precinct commander and other supervisors. He recorded street encounters. He recorded small talk and stationhouse banter. In all, he surreptitiously collected hundreds of hours of cops talking about their jobs.

Made without the knowledge or approval of the NYPD, the tapes—made between June 1, 2008, and October 31, 2009, in the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant and obtained exclusively by the Voice—provide an unprecedented portrait of what it's like to work as a cop in this city.


JANUARY 28, 2009
"How Many Superstars and How Many Losers Do You Have"

In this excerpt, the 81st Precinct commander, a lieutenant and a sergeant talk about the constant pressure from bosses, and push cops to "get their numbers."


JUNE 12, 2008
"The Hounds are Coming"

Precinct supervisors talk about a specific "numbers" quota, warn cops to pick up their numbers, or else, and complain about outside inspections.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
"Just Knock It Off, All Right? We're Adults"

In this roll call, a supervisor tells officers to stop drawing penises in each other's memo books and drawing graffiti on the walls. There's also an extended speech on the virtues of personal hygiene.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2009
"This Is Crunch Time"

The pressure for "numbers" (summonses, arrests, stop and frisks and community visits) was worst at the end of each month and the end of each quarter because that's when individual officers had to file their activity reports. In other words, stay away from cops after the 25th of the month.

OCTOBER 4, 2009
"It's Not About Squashing Numbers"

In this roll call, precinct supervisors order officers to be skeptical about robbery victims, and tell the cops that the precinct commander and two aides call victims to question them about their complaints.


OCTOBER 12, 2009
"How Do We Know This Guy Really Got Robbed?"

Police officers are supposed to take crime complaints, but in this roll call, a sergeant tells cops not to take robbery complaints if the victim won't immediately return to speak with detectives. She questions the victim's motives, too.

They reveal that precinct bosses threaten street cops if they don't make their quotas of arrests and stop-and-frisks, but also tell them not to take certain robbery reports in order to manipulate crime statistics. The tapes also refer to command officers calling crime victims directly to intimidate them about their complaints.

As a result, the tapes show, the rank-and-file NYPD street cop experiences enormous pressure in a strange catch-22: He or she is expected to maintain high "activity"—including stop-and-frisks—but, paradoxically, to record fewer actual crimes.

This pressure was accompanied by paranoia—from the precinct commander to the lieutenants to the sergeants to the line officers—of violating any of the seemingly endless bureaucratic rules and regulations that would bring in outside supervision.

The tapes also reveal the locker-room environment at the precinct. On a recording made in September, the subject being discussed at roll call is stationhouse graffiti (done by the cops themselves) and something called "cocking the memo book," a practical joke in which officers draw penises in each other's daily notebooks.

"As far as the defacing of department property—all right, the shit on the side of the building . . . and on people's lockers, and drawing penises in people's memo books, and whatever else is going on—just knock it off, all right?" a Sergeant A. can be heard saying. "If the wrong person sees this stuff coming in here, then IAB [the Internal Affairs Bureau] is going to be all over this place, all right? . . . You want to draw penises, draw them in your own memo book. . . And don't actually draw on the wall." He then adds that just before an inspection, a supervisor had to walk around the stationhouse and paint over all the graffiti.

The Voice is releasing portions of the tapes in batches on our website, villagevoice.com, and is also publishing several stories to deal with the issues that the recordings present. In this week's installment, we look at the roll calls at the Bed-Stuy precinct and the conflicting instructions given to street cops, who must look busy at all times, while actually suppressing crime reports. (Repeated attempts to get an official response from the police department have been met by silence.)

The Voice obtained the digital audio recordings from Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, an eight-year veteran of the NYPD. (The Voice has identified the NYPD bosses speaking at roll calls, but is using initials—different from their names—for most of them.)

Schoolcraft first made headlines in February, when the Daily News reported that he was speaking out about manipulation of crime reports at the 81st. His complaints, the Daily News wrote, had sparked an investigation that had put even the precinct's commander, Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello, under suspicion. Those stories, however, gave no indication that Schoolcraft was also in possession of the remarkable audiotapes.

Schoolcraft tells the Voice he carried the audio recorder initially to protect himself from the civilian complaints that can result from street encounters. But then he began to document things happening in the precinct that bothered him. After he ran afoul of precinct politics, he recorded what he viewed as retaliation by his bosses.

"How else would you present the fraud being committed on the public?" he asks.

ON JANUARY 28, 2009, PATROL OFFICERS on the evening tour at the 81st Precinct gathered in the utilitarian muster room at the 30 Ralph Avenue stationhouse. They stood on white floors in ranks. The blue-and-white walls are decorated with old Wanted posters, two glass cupboards with crime maps, posters with warnings about sexual harassment and retaliation, and a flat-screen television. There are two tables, three chairs, and a podium used by supervisors to address the cops.

A roll call is the key moment in the workday of any police officer. Think Hill Street Blues and "Let's be careful out there." The sergeants, lieutenants, and, sometimes, the precinct commander relay orders to the rank-and-file. The officers are told about recent crimes and trouble spots in the neighborhood. Officers are subject to inspection and are given training. The language, naturally, is a mix of quasi-military jargon, street slang, rough epithets, and a fair bit of gallows humor—in other words, cop-speak.

The 81st Precinct covers Bedford-Stuyvesant, a densely populated, multiracial patchwork of low-income areas, public housing projects, and blocks going through gentrification. At just 1.7 square miles, Bed-Stuy is geographically small, but a place that, according to the tapes, the officers view as a "heavy precinct."

"You're not working in Midtown Manhattan, where people are walking around, smiling and being happy," a lieutenant tells officers in a November 1, 2008, roll call. "You're working in Bed-Stuy, where everyone's probably got a warrant."

On this particular day, the precinct commander, Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello, a Lieutenant B., and a Sergeant C. are leading the session.

After attendance has been taken and assignments handed out, Mauriello, a hard-charging boss given to colorful language, exhorts the officers to disperse crowds away from certain buildings, and stop and question people.

"Listen, if it's micromanaging, it's micromanaging," he says. "Just do your job. If you see a large crowd, get out [of your car]. Just do what you gotta do. You know them, you stop them. Go somewhere else. Stay off the radar."

Mauriello then relates how a three-star chief, Michael Scagnelli, closely questioned him on the number of tickets the officers write, and warns them to make their numbers. "He says, 'How many superstars and how many losers do you have?' " Mauriello says. "And then he goes down and says, 'How many summonses does your squad write?' I want everyone to step up and be accountable and work. Don't get caught out there."

He then mentions the patrol borough commander, Marino, who is apparently examining the "activity" of every cop in the 10 precincts he oversees. "If you don't want to work, then, you know what, just do the old go-through-the-motions and get your numbers anyway," he says. "He's taking this very seriously, looking at everyone's evaluations. And he's yelling at every CO [commanding officer] about 'Who gave this guy points?' or 'This girl's no good.' "

Sergeant C. then says the cops should be able to hit their numbers' targets. "I told you guys last month: They are looking at these numbers, and people are going to get moved," he says. "It ain't about losing your job. They can make your job real uncomfortable, and we all know what that means."

Next, Lieutenant B. cites the declining numbers of officers in the department. "A lot of people are leaving the job," he says. "They aren't getting new recruits. Patrol is not getting new people. It's more accountability, it's less people. They got this catchphrase, 'Do more with less,' right? And they're looking at the numbers."

He adds that the top bosses are pressuring the precinct commander, who is pressuring his supervisors, who then have to pressure the cops.

"Unfortunately, at this level in your career, you're on the lowest level, so you're going to get some orders that you may not like," he says. "You're gonna get instructions. You're gonna get disciplinary action. You gotta just pick up your work. I don't wanna get my ass chewed out, in straight words. I'm sick of getting yelled at."

THE SAME THEMES—of shit rolling downhill, and that constant pressure to do more with less—appear again and again throughout the tapes dating back to June 1, 2008.

Bosses spend more time in the roll calls haranguing the officers for "activity"—or "paying the rent," as it was known—than anything else. In other words, writing summonses, doing stop-and-frisks (known as "250s"), doing community visits, and making arrests. Or else.

Officers were under constant pressure to keep those numbers high to prove that they were doing their jobs, even when there was little justification for it. Like a drumbeat, this mandate was hammered home again and again in almost every roll call.

"Again, it's all about the numbers," a Sergeant D. tells his officers on October 18, 2009.

Command often set up special summons duty to artificially increase the numbers of tickets issued. On December 13, 2008, there was this from a Sergeant E.: "In order to increase the amount of C summonses patrol is writing, they are going to try to, when they can, put out a quality-of-life auto. Your goal is to write C summonses, all right?"

A "C summons" requires a warrant check and covers a wide range of offenses, like public drinking, disorderly conduct, littering, blocking the sidewalk, and graffiti. An "A summons" is for illegal parking, and a "B summons" is for traffic violations like running a red light or using a cell phone while driving.

Certainly, there's enforcement value to issuing tickets and stopping people on the street, but the true value of this "activity," the tapes indicate, was that it offered proof that the precinct commander and his officers were doing their jobs. With those numbers, the precinct boss could go to police headquarters with ammunition. Low numbers meant criticism and demotion; high numbers meant praise and promotion.

The NYPD has always claimed that there are no specific numerical targets or quotas. Most recently, police spokesman Paul Browne denied the existence of quotas in early March, but said that "police officers, like others who receive compensation, are provided productivity goals, and they are expected to work."

The tapes show, however, that, of course, quotas exist.

On June 12, 2008, Lieutenant B. relayed the summons target: "The XO [second-in-command] was in the other day. He actually laid down a number. He wants at least three seat belts, one cell phone, and 11 others. All right, so if I was on patrol, I would be sure to get three seat belts, one cell phone, and 11 others.

"Pick it up a lot, if you have to," he says. "The CO gave me some names. I spoke to you."

While the NYPD can set "productivity targets," the department cannot tie those targets to disciplinary action: "What turns it into an illegal quota is when there is a punishment attached to not achieving, like a transfer or loss of assignment," says Al O'Leary, a spokesman for the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

In the 81st Precinct, however, the tapes indicate that "activity" was routinely tied to direct and implied threats of discipline. The message, relayed down the chain from headquarters, is repeated over and over again in the roll calls by the precinct commander, the lieutenants, and the sergeants.

On October 28, 2008, for example, the precinct commander, Mauriello, tells officers he will change their shifts if they don't make their numbers: "If I hear about disgruntled people moaning about getting thrown off their tours, it is what it is. Mess up, bring heat on the precinct—you know what, I'll give you tough love, but it doesn't mean you can't work your way back into good graces and get back to the detail and platoon you want."

He adds: "If you don't work, and I get the same names back again, I'm moving you. You're going to go to another platoon. I'm done. I don't want to be embarrassed no more."

On July 15, 2008, he says, "I don't want to see anyone get hurt. This job is all about hurting. Someone has to go. Step on a landmine, someone has to get hurt."

On December 8, 2008, he excoriates officers who failed to write enough tickets for double-parking, running red lights, and disorderly conduct, and who failed to stop-and-frisk enough people.

"I see eight fucking summonses for a 20-day period or a month," he says. "If you mess up, how the hell do you want me to do the right thing by you? You come in, five parkers, three A's, no C's, and the only 250 you do is when I force you to do overtime? I mean it's a two-way street out here."

Later, he adds, "In the end, I hate to say it—you need me more than I need you because I'm what separates the wolves from coming in here and chewing on your bones."

In the same roll call, Sergeant C. adds: "When I tell you to get your activity up, it's for a reason, because they are looking to move people, and he's serious. . . . There's people in here that may not be here next month."

The pressure is the worst at the end of the month and at the end of every quarter, because that's when the precinct has to file activity reports on each officer with the borough command and police headquarters. (Put another way: If you want to avoid getting a ticket, stay away from police officers during the last few days of the month, when the pressure for numbers is the highest.)

From the tapes, it's not hard to imagine an officer desperately driving to the precinct, looking for someone smoking pot on a stoop or double-parking to fill some gap in their productivity.

In a roll call from September 26, a Sergeant F. notes that the quarter is coming to an end, and a deadline is nearing for applying to take the sergeants' exam. "If your activity's been down, the last quarter is a good time to bring it up, because that's when your evaluation is going to be done," he says. "We all know this job is, 'What have you done for me lately?' "

He goes on to lay on the pressure for more numbers. "This is crunch time," he says. "This is Game Seven of the World Series, the bases are loaded, and you're at bat right now. . . . It's all a game, ladies and gentlemen. We do what we're supposed to, the negative attention goes somewhere else. That's what we want."

And take August 31, 2009. Sergeant Rogers tells his officers, "Today is the last day of the month. Get what you need to get."

Or as Sergeant F. says just a few days before that: "It's the 26th. If you don't have your activity, it would be a really good time to get it. . . . If I don't have to hear about it from a white shirt [a superior officer], that's the name of the game."

IT'S ALSO CLEAR FROM THE recordings that supervisors viewed the constant pressure for numbers as an annoyance, busy work to fill the demand from downtown. "We had a shooting on midnight on Chauncey, so do some community visits, C summonses over there, the usual bullshit," Sergeant A. says in an August 22, 2009, roll call.

The obsession with statistics at police headquarters bleeds out into the borough commands as well. In early 2009, the Brooklyn North patrol command started holding its own CompStat meetings, reviewing everything from crime stats to the number of tickets written by each officer to sick reports.

The move was seen in the precinct as yet another layer of unnecessary oversight. "This job is just getting tighter and tighter with accountability," Lieutenant B. says on January 13, 2009. "So there are certain things I'd like to get away with, but I can't anymore. It just goes down the line and, eventually, it falls on you."

Eight days later, he offers his view of these so-called Boro Stat meetings, on January 21, 2009: "Robbery spikes, crime spikes, on and on and on. It's a lot of horseshit I gotta sit through, but it's accountability, all right?"

As a result of this outside pressure, the precinct was constantly worried about violating bureaucratic rules that would result in even more scrutiny, and result in Command Disciplines (CDs), a penalty that could carry a loss of vacation days.

Take one example: A sergeant spends a roll call upbraiding his officers for not having the proper equipment. "Nobody's got your whistle holder, and half of you don't have your whistle," he says. "That's unacceptable. When I fall down the mine shaft, I'm the only one that's going to be able to call for help. The rest of you are going to have to fire off your gun, and they'll give you a CD for that."

The officers in Bed-Stuy viewed a unit called Brooklyn North Inspections with a particular measure of contempt. Inspections, known as "the hounds," would slip into the precinct, look for rules violations, and then hit officers with CDs.

"Inspections—they pull you over like a perp, and you know it's disrespectful to us, but this is what they're doing," Lieutenant B. says on June 12, 2008. "So Inspections is not really our friend. Let's leave it at that."

On November 12, 2008: "Brooklyn North Inspections is not our friend. I'm just going to lay it out there right on the line," he says. "If you see they're here, they're probably here to hurt someone."

Hurting someone means issuing a CD for, say, not having your shirt tucked in, or reading the newspaper on duty. In one instance, in October 2008, four officers were given CDs for leaving the precinct to have lunch. (81st Precinct officers seemed to believe there weren't any decent restaurants in the precinct itself.)

During a roll call on October 30, 2008, Sergeant C. upbraids the officers for their appearance. "It keeps the hounds off," he says, adding, "That includes smirks. One smirk cost the whole borough 13 CDs last week."

ONE OF THE MOST BASIC THINGS a police officer does is take crime complaints from victims. But that very simple edict evolved into something substantially different in the 81st Precinct.

Usually, an officer arrives at a crime scene and begins taking information. Then, either on the scene or at the precinct, the officer fills out a report known as a "61" and presents it to the desk officer, a sergeant, for his signature.

After the sergeant classifies the crime, the 61 is then entered into a computer system, making it official, and it's passed on to the detective squad for investigation. Police veterans say their standard was always, "Refer the complaint, not the complainant." In other words, if someone wants to make a report, you take it, and let the squad check it out. It was the squad's job to determine whether the complainant's story was worth checking further.

In the 81st Precinct, that traditional discretion of a street cop was being taken away from them, the tapes indicate. There was constant second-guessing and questioning of crime complaints and crime victims before cases were ever entered into the computer. The message to street cops was to exercise extreme skepticism with crime victims—unless you didn't mind getting yelled at.

Officers were told that, unlike in the past, their bosses would need to be present at the scene of a possible robbery, for example, to look over their shoulders. "There are certain jobs that I must be present on," Sergeant C. says on October 13, 2008. "If I'm not present, you gotta call me up. You can't come in here with a robbery, and I don't know anything about it."

Rank-and-file cops don't like the change, which is reflected on Internet bulletin boards, where they leave messages like this recent posting: "It used to be that a radio car turned out and two partners went from job to job making decisions, applying common (uncommon) sense to solve problems," an officer writes. "A Sgt. or Lt. was not called to the scene unless there was a death or serious incident. Patrol officers now have been indoctrinated that they are not qualified to make any decisions about anything."

During a September 12, 2009, roll call, a fellow cop tells Schoolcraft: "A lot of 61s—if it's a robbery, they'll make it a petty larceny. I saw a 61, at T/P/O [time and place of occurrence], a civilian punched in the face, menaced with a gun, and his wallet was removed, and they wrote 'lost property.' "

The practice of downgrading crimes has been the NYPD's scandal-in-waiting for years. The NYPD claims that downgrading happens only rarely, but in the course of reporting this story, the Voice was told anecdotally of burglaries rejected if the victim didn't have receipts for the items stolen; of felony thefts turned into misdemeanor thefts by lowballing the value of the property; of robberies turned into assaults; of assaults turned into harassments.

How widespread that kind of thing was in the 81st Precinct is unclear just from the recordings, but Schoolcraft claims it was common. Of course, caution in taking a complaint is prudent. But the fact that the precinct commander discourages the taking of robbery complaints has to influence other decisions down the chain.

So officers get marching orders like the following, which was recorded October 4: "If it's a little old lady, and I got my bag stolen, then she's probably telling the truth, all right?" Sergeant D. says. "If it's some young guy who looks strong and healthy and can maybe defend himself, and he got yoked up, and he's not injured, he's perfectly fine—question that. It's not about squashing numbers. You all know if it is what it is—if it smells like a rotten fish—then that's what it is. But question it. On the burglaries as well."

LAST OCTOBER 11, TWO PATROL officers made a terrible mistake: They took a robbery complaint. A man reported that some suspects had forcibly taken his cell phone, but the victim didn't want to immediately accompany officers to the precinct to talk to the detective squad. The victim, the tapes show, told the officers he didn't want to go back with them because he didn't want to be seen getting into a marked police car.

The next day, Mauriello took out his anger on what the officers had done on their sergeant, the tapes show. And she, in turn, took it out on the officers.

"OK, so he [Mauriello] was flippin' on me yesterday because they wrote a 61, and the guy talking about he not coming in to speak to nobody," says a Sergeant G. in the October 12 roll call. "He don't want nobody see him getting in the car."

While one of the core duties of a police officer is to take crime complaints, the 81st Precinct had a controversial policy that held that if a victim refused to come to the stationhouse and speak to the detective squad, officers should refuse to take the complaint.

"You know, we be popping up with these robberies out of nowhere, or whatever," Sergeant G. tells her officers in the roll call. "If the complainant does not want to go back and speak to the squad, then there is no 61 taken. That's it. They have to go back and speak to the squad."

In effect, under this policy, a robbery complaint would be rejected if the victim was unable to come to the stationhouse. It didn't matter if a victim was unable to come down because he or she had to work or take care of kids. Perhaps not coincidentally, that would also be one less robbery to count against the precinct's crime statistics.

The sergeant went on to suggest that the victim was lying: "How do we know this guy really got robbed?" she asked. "He said he had no description. Sometimes they just want a complaint number—you know what I'm saying?—so if he don't wanna come back and talk to the squad, then that's it."

This policy was mentioned repeatedly starting last August. The sergeant repeated the directive on October 24. "If the complainant says, 'I don't want to go to the squad, I don't want to go to the squad,' then there's no 61, right?" she says. "We not going to take it, and then they say they're going to come in later on, and then the squad speaks to them and usually they don't want to come in."

She repeats the admonition again on October 27, and this time, a Lieutenant K. adds, "Don't take that report. That's it. It's over."

There's no reference to this policy in the NYPD Patrol Guide, the department bible of practices and procedures.

Retired detectives tell the Voice that the practice is highly questionable: "I've never heard of something like that," says Greg Modica, who retired in 2002 as a Detective First Grade after 20 years with the Manhattan Robbery Squad. "And I don't think the commissioner would care for it. If the complainant couldn't come in on the spot, patrol would take the complaint, turn it over to us, and we'd follow up.

"If the victim can't come in for some reason—maybe they have a babysitter at home or they have to work—you take the report and tell them the detectives will make an appointment to see them," he adds.

Modica and other ex-detectives say it simply isn't patrol's job to determine whether or not a victim is lying. Their job is merely to take the report and turn it over to the detective squad.

"You might get a feeling on the street, but that doesn't mean you don't take it," he says. "It's the detective's job to determine that. And anyway, [a false report] didn't happen that many times. Robbery is a very serious crime."

ALL OF WHICH BRINGS UP something known as a "callback"—which occurs when an officer or a detective makes a follow-up call to a crime victim, usually when he needs another piece of information or has to check his information. That's the traditional definition.

In the 81st Precinct, it meant something substantially different, Schoolcraft says. It meant calling a crime victim and questioning them closely on the details of their complaint with an eye toward downgrading it or scrapping it.

"It's, 'Are you sure you want to do this?' " Schoolcraft says, describing the practice. "Sometimes, it's, 'Have you ever been arrested?' or 'We're going to know if you're lying or not.' "

Mauriello himself and at least two of his lieutenants were doing their own callbacks.

Mauriello's involvement in callbacks is confirmed in an October 4, 2009, roll call, during which Lieutenant K. tells the officers, "Whether it's CO, Lieutenant L., or [Sergeant] M., they always do callbacks. So a lot of time, we get early information and they do callbacks."

"And then we look silly," Sergeant D. adds. "A woman says, 'Hey, my boyfriend stole my phone.' He didn't really steal the phone. It's his phone, and he was taking it. Did he snatch it out of her hand? Yeah. Is it a grand larceny? No, because I'm telling you right now the D.A. is not going to entertain that."

Modica and other retired detectives say they're stunned that a precinct commander and his aides would be calling crime victims directly and asking about their complaints. "I don't think he should be doing it," Modica says. "It's the detectives' job. If the captain comes up and says, 'It's not a robbery,' I say, 'That's OK, but we have a case, and it's up to us to investigate it now.' It makes you wonder whether they are doing it to cut down on statistics."

It's also unclear why a patrol sergeant would worry about what a prosecutor would do with a complaint, unless he was looking for a reason to reject it before it reached the prosecutor's desk.

"Whether a district attorney decides to take a case or not is not something for a precinct supervisor to worry about," says John Eterno, a retired NYPD captain who is now a professor of criminal justice at Molloy College. "He is making a judgment call based on what he thinks the D.A. will do. But the person made a complaint. That complaint needs to be taken."

THE NYPD HAS A UNIT THAT audits precinct crime stats, known as the Quality Assurance Division (QAD). The unit operates something like Internal Affairs, but is actually attached to the management and planning office.

On October 7, Schoolcraft was ordered downtown by QAD for a nearly-three-hour formal, on-the-record interview with an inspector, a lieutenant, and three sergeants.

Schoolcraft was advised that he could have an attorney represent him in the meeting, but he chose not to. It's also important to note that if he had lied during the interview, he could have been brought up on department or criminal charges. Plus, he was laying his career on the line by discussing misconduct he claimed to witness. He also supplied documentation of his claims. And the interview took place prior to his controversial suspension, and months before he spoke to the media. In short, he had little to gain and a lot to lose by speaking with the investigators.

Once again, Schoolcraft had brought along his audio recorder, and recorded the meeting without the knowledge of the others in the room. During the meeting, the QAD officers make some interesting off-handed observations about the extent of crime statistic manipulation in the precincts.

After a long description of how he does investigations, one of the supervisors says, "You know, I've been doing this over eight years. I've seen a lot. The lengths people will go to try not to take a report, or not take a report for a seven major [crime]. So nothing surprises me anymore."

The supervisor notes such instances can be criminal [falsification of business records], but district attorneys typically "don't want to touch" cases of officers manipulating statistics. "They'll give it back to the department to handle it internally," he says.

He goes on to note that, yes, precincts do downgrade reports: "We look at grand larceny because, as you know, they don't want to take the robbery," he says. "They punch a lady in the face, and they took her pocketbook, but they don't want to take that robbery, so they'll make that a grand larceny."

Schoolcraft tells the QAD officers that sergeants and lieutenants were berated for taking major crime reports. "Just about all of them, if they work patrol," he says. "When they come out, they say, 'It is what it is. It was a robbery—what could I do about it?' "

During the meeting, Schoolcraft provides documentation on an incident from December 5, 2008, that was initially taken as an attempted robbery—a teen reported that he was attacked by a gang of thugs who beat him and tried to take his portable video game—and later downgraded by a sergeant to an misdemeanor assault.

In the meeting, the QAD officers check their computer files and find that, indeed, the incident was classified as a misdemeanor assault.

Schoolcraft also provides documents from a June 29, 2009, auto theft report, in which the victim came in to obtain the report number, but no report existed. A sergeant told Schoolcraft to do a new report.

Schoolcraft tells the QAD officers that Mauriello came to the desk and told him, "I'm not taking this. Have the guy come in. I've gotta talk to him."

A couple of days later, the man arrived and was ushered into Mauriello's office. Mauriello interrogated the victim and his cousin. "There was yelling," Schoolcraft says. "They were in there for about 40 minutes. The cousin stormed out of the office yelling and screaming."

The stolen car complaint became an unlawful use of a motor vehicle, Schoolcraft said.

In another incident, an elderly man walked in off the street to report that someone had broken the lock on the cash box in his apartment and had stolen $22,000. When he reported the incident at another precinct, he was told that it was a "civil matter" and to call 3-1-1, the city's complaint hotline.

The desk sergeant told Schoolcraft to send the victim back to the other precinct because he was "loopy."

The Voice asked a retired detective about this incident. If it had been handled properly, he replied, someone would have checked his apartment for signs of a burglary. "Even if they don't believe the guy, it's still a crime," the ex-detective says. "You take the report. The detectives investigate it. They determine whether he was lying."

Among many other incidents Schoolcraft discussed were:

* A man walked in to report that he was choked unconscious and robbed of his wallet. He left with a slip that would allow him to renew his driver's license. Then, a detective came down and said, "If that guy comes back, don't let him upstairs."

* Another downgraded robbery from October 23, 2008: Two officers responded to a robbery and found a guy beaten up and bleeding. A lieutenant responded to the scene and said, "We can't take this robbery." It came in as a lost property.

Schoolcraft says he contacted the victim, who sent him a written statement detailing what had happened.

By the end of the meeting, Schoolcraft seems to have their attention. "I'm not looking to burn anyone," he tells the investigators. "What this is doing is it's messing with the officers. They're losing track of what's real and what's not real, what their duties are and what their duties aren't."

The investigators are heard pledging a thorough examination of the precinct's crime reports. "We're very serious about this, and we will do a thorough investigation," an Inspector H. says. "That, I can promise you." Later, he adds, "Personally, I appreciate you coming in and bringing this to our attention. I know it's not an easy thing to do."

After the meeting ends, a supervisor makes a couple of other off-handed comments to Schoolcraft, noting that the pressure to artificially lower crime statistics is fueled by the bosses downtown. "The mayor's looking for it, the police commissioner's looking for it . . . every commanding officer wants to show it," he says. "So there's motivation not to classify the reports for the seven major crimes. Sometimes, people get agendas and try to do what they can to avoid taking the seven major crimes."

It is unclear what direction the QAD investigation has headed, but a law enforcement source assured the Voice that it is ongoing. The source declined to detail any findings.

Curiously, after questions were raised earlier this year about the 81st Precinct statistics, crime there jumped by 13 percent.

That increase has remained steady, fueled chiefly by a huge 76 percent jump in felony assaults. That jump in assaults is far ahead of the citywide increase of 4.6 percent.

In the 81st Precinct, at least, it appears that assaults are no longer being downgraded since Schoolcraft blew the whistle.

Schoolcraft decided to give the tapes to the Voice out of frustration that his attempts to report questionable activities went largely ignored within the NYPD. Instead of the department acting on his complaints, he says, he was subjected to retaliation by precinct and borough superiors.

Three weeks after his meeting with QAD investigators, on October 31, Schoolcraft felt sick and went home from work. Hours later, a dozen police supervisors came to his house and demanded that he return to work. He declined, on health grounds. Eventually, Deputy Chief Michael Marino, the commander of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, which covers 10 precincts, ordered that Schoolcraft be dragged from his apartment in handcuffs and forcibly placed in a Queens mental ward for six days.

Today, he lives upstate, north of Albany, and is still hoping that the department will take his concerns seriously.

THE VOICE SHOWED TRANSCRIPTS OF the roll calls to Eterno, the Molloy College professor who has, in the past, testified for the NYPD as an expert witness, and Eli Silverman, a John Jay College professor who wrote a 1999 book on NYPD crime fighting strategies that was well received in the department.

Earlier this year, Eterno and Silverman published a survey of retired NYPD supervisors, more than 100 of whom said the intense pressure to show crime declines led to manipulation of crime statistics. (That survey was roundly attacked by the NYPD, the mayor's office, and some commentators.)

"These tapes are an independent source of data that supports just about everything we found," Eterno said, speaking for both professors. "You're seeing relentless pressure, questionable activities, unethical manipulation of statistics. We've lost the understanding that policing is not just about crime numbers, it's about service. And they don't feel like they're on the same team. They are fighting each other. It's, 'How do I get through this tour, making a number, without rocking the boat?' "

"The pressure comes from the commanding officer, because of CompStat, and you're seeing the sergeants and lieutenants trying to deal with it and translate it into actionable terms."

And the police said Adrian Schoolcraft was crazy.

They whisked him off for psychiatric evaluation against his will. But the tapes reveal crazy behavior by the bosses of the nation's largest police force.

In the next "NYPD Tapes" article, the Voice will examine the effects of these behaviors on the community—particularly the campaign by the precinct commander to "clear" corners and buildings in the precinct, as well as staffing shortages, why stop-and-frisk numbers have skyrocketed, and how training requirements were fudged.

And, in another installment, we'll look at what happened to the whistleblower himself, Schoolcraft, when he dared to question what was going on around him.
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Radio program This American Life does a story on the Schoolcraft tapes, his illegal arrest and commitment to a psych ward by his police commander, and the subsequent harrassment of Schoolcraft by NYPD cops, hours outside of their jurisdiction in upstate New York. A stunningly good and revealing episode that helped expose corruption in the New York police department to a national audience.

This American Life: Episode 414--Right To Remain Silent, September 10, 2010

Transcript:
Quote:
Act Two. Is That a Tape Recorder in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Unhappy to See Me?

Ira Glass
It's This American Life. I'm Ira Glass. Our show today-- Right to Remain Silent. We have two stories of people who very much do not choose to remain silent. We've arrived at act two of our show. Act Two. Is That a Tape Recorder in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Unhappy to See Me? Adrian Schoolcraft is a New York City policeman who decided to secretly record himself and his fellow officers on the job-- all day, every workday, he says for 17 months. Including lots of days when he was ordered to do all kinds of things cops are not supposed to do. It's led to a small scandal, Several people removed from their jobs, and four investigations of the New York Police Department. Though Adrian insists he didn't get into this looking for trouble.

Graham Rayman
His father is a police officer, and, I would say, he went along with the program for a few years.

Ira Glass
This is the reporter who broke the story in The Village Voice about Adrian and what he recorded those 17 months, a reporter named Graham Rayman. When I asked Graham what Adrian, the person at the center of this scandal, is like, the first thing out of his mouth is--

Graham Rayman
I would describe him as an extremely earnest person, almost-- in this cynical age-- almost to the point of almost too earnest. He actually believed that he could get the police commissioner to change certain things about how the police department was being run.

Ira Glass
Adrian Schoolcraft was working in Brooklyn-- precinct 81, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a rough neighborhood, mostly black, that was slowly gentrifying. The precinct is just seven blocks wide and 20 blocks long, roughly, and had 13 murders last year, which is a third of what it used to be. Adrian's kind of an electronics buff, and he bought himself one of those tiny digital recorders, tucked it in his breast pocket, and started recording-- as he walked his beat, when he talked to other cops--

Police Sergeant
All right, attention. Roll call.

Ira Glass
--morning roll calls.

Police Sergeant
Enison.

Enison
Here.

Police Sergeant
Lewis.

Adrian Schoolcraft
The only reason the thought entered my head was because-- to protect myself.

Ira Glass
This is Adrian.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Like any other officer would carry a recorder-- was to protect themselves from any false accusations. Usually from civilians who are upset.

Ira Glass
How big was the recorder?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Oh, about the size of a pack of gum.

Ira Glass
The atmosphere at the 81st precinct was set by its commander, Stephen Mauriello. When Mauriello showed up, Adrian Schoolcraft says, things changed. Offices were told to write more tickets, do more stop-and-frisks, arrest more people for low level offenses that they might otherwise let go-- get their numbers up.

Adrian Schoolcraft
The pressure definitely increased when he arrived and took over as the commanding officer. The analogy I would uses is like having a boot to the back of your heel. It is do this or else. The rent's due.

Ira Glass
The rent's due?

Adrian Schoolcraft
The rent is due. Pay the rent. Did you pay the rent last month?

Ira Glass
Pay the rent means did you get your numbers?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Correct.

Ira Glass
Now, it's perfectly legal for police to be told-- like anybody in any job-- here's the amount of work that we expect you to do, number of tickets and arrests that are normal for somebody in your job in this neighborhood. But what's not allowed is to penalize police officers who do not make those targets. We don't want police officers under such pressure to deliver numbers that they make stops and arrests and write summons with no valid reason, just to get their goals. Again, reporter Graham Rayman.

Graham Rayman
In other words, as a police supervisor I can't tell you, you better give me 20 tickets a month or else I'm going to transfer you to the graveyard shift. There can't be a direct relationship between the two.

Ira Glass
That's just against the rules.

Graham Rayman
It's against the law.

Ira Glass
Oh, it's against the law?

Graham Rayman
Yeah, there's a state law against that kind of thing. But what was happening in the precinct, and what the tapes show repeatedly, is that they were tying it to disciplinary action. They were threatening the cops. If you don't hit your numbers, you'll get transferred, you'll lose your assignment, we'll change your partner, you'll go on a foot post, you can be given a worse assignment.

Ira Glass
On November 1, 2008, one sergeant declares at a roll call, quote "they are looking at these numbers and people are going to be moved. They can make your job real uncomfortable, and we all know what that means." On December 8, 2008, the sergeant tells the officers that if they don't get their activity up, quote, "there's some people here that may not be here come next month."

Police Sergeant
There's some people here that may not be here come next month.

Ira Glass
Because officially the NYPD doesn't allow numeric quotas to be tied to job performance, you hear the supervisors in the recording sometimes get into real verbal contortions to get the point across. Like in this excerpt from a roll call the first month that Schoolcraft was recording, June 2008.

Police Sergeant
The XO was in the other day. I don't know who was here. He actually laid down a number.

Ira Glass
I'm just going to repeat this because it's hard to hear. "The XO was in the other day," that's a commanding officer, right?

Adrian Schoolcraft
The Execuitve Officer.

Ira Glass
Or, the Executive Officer. --"was in the other day. He laid down a number."

Police Sergeant
All right. So, I'm not going to quote him on that, because I don't want to be quoted stating numbers.

Ira Glass
I'm not going to quote him on that, because I don't want to be quoted stating members.

Police Sergeant
All right. He wants at least three seat belts, one cell phone, and 11 others.

Ira Glass
"He wants three seat belts, one cell phone, and 11 others." What does that mean?

Adrian Schoolcraft
He wants three seat-belt summonses, tickets for people not wearing their seat-belt, one cell phone, someone driving in their car talking on the cell phone, and eleven others, there are dozens of other categories of summonses that you can give people.

Police Sergeant
I don't know what the number is, but that's what he wants.

Ira Glass
I don't know what the number is, but that's what he wants. That's a really-- what does that mean?

Adrian Schoolcraft
He's playing the same game. He knows he's not supposed to state a number, but he wants to get his point across. So it's kind of like, if you remember All the President's Men, it's a non-denial denial.

Ira Glass
Adrian Schoolcraft says he isn't exactly sure when, but at some point he had decided that it was important to document the orders that he was given that he thought were out of line. He recorded roll calls where officers were constantly being told to do more stop-and-frisks, even though it's illegal to stop a random person on the street and frisk them without reasonable suspicion. In December 2008, a sergeant tells officers to stop-and-frisk quote, "anybody walking around, no matter what the explanation is." He recorded Stephen Mauriello, the commander the 81st precinct-- and the person Adrian Schoolcraft says really brought the hammer down for higher numbers-- ordering the officers to arrest everyone they see. This happens in a couple of recordings, like this one from Halloween 2008.

Stephen Mauriello
Any roving bands-- you hear me-- roving bands more than two or three people--

Ira Glass
He's saying "any roving bands of more than two or three people"-- he's talking about just people going around on Halloween night--

Stephen Mauriello
I want them stopped--

Ira Glass
I want them stopped--

Stephen Mauriello
--cuffed--

Ira Glass
--cuffed--

Stephen Mauriello
--throw them in here, run some warrants.

Ira Glass
--throw them in here, run some warrants.

Stephen Mauriello
You're on a foot post? [BLEEP] it. Take the first guy you've got and lock them all up. Boom.

Ira Glass
You're on a foot post? F it. Take the first guy you've got, lock them all up. Boom.

Stephen Mauriello
We're going to go back out and process them later on, I've got no problems--

Ira Glass
--go back out and then we'll come back in and process them later on."

Adrian Schoolcraft
Yes. Yeah, what he's saying is, arrest people simply for the purpose of clearing the streets.

Ira Glass
Again, Graham Rayman. He says the problem with that is--

Graham Rayman
There has to be a violation of the law to make an arrest. He's essentially making the arrest before the crime takes place.

John Eterno
This is an example of something that I would say-- they're going out in the street and just grabbing people-- that's unlawful imprisonment. It's an illegal arrest.

Ira Glass
That's John Eterno, a former New York City cop, who went up the ranks from officer to sergeant, to lieutenant, to captain. He now chairs the Department of Criminal Justice at Molloy College and researches and writes about police practices with Professor Eli Silverman. And he says that some of the things that Adrian Schoolcraft documented on his recordings were no surprise to anybody-- like sergeants hounding officers to get their numbers up. That's been happening in every precinct for a long time, he says. But for commanders to tell cops, just lock people up and figure it out later-- Eterno says the word for that is kidnapping.

John Eterno
That's exactly what it is. They're just pulling people off the street. It's an unlawful imprisonment and they're being kidnapped. If they don't have probable cause, you cannot grab people off the street. It is kidnapping. At this point, from what I'm hearing on this tape, it seems to me that this is probably illegal behavior that's taking place on the part of the police department.

Andre Wade
We were arrested, they take us to the 81st precinct, put us in lock up for maybe an hour or two. And they processed us and checked for warrants. And once they see no warrants, they let us go, but we were still issued a citation.

Ira Glass
Andre Wade has lived in the neighborhood for over twenty years. He's a commercial driver. One day, he and two friends were picking up his brother to go to work together. They were standing on the sidewalk, and a police officer came over, and said they were trespassing. When his brother came down and confirmed, no, no they were there to pick them up, Andre says the officer wouldn't listen.

Andre Wade
He was just saying stuff like, you know you're not supposed to be standing here. He started getting upset when we were trying to talk him out of giving us the citations. And it's like he just got out of control. He got real erratic and got on the radio. And the next thing you know, we turn around and there's eight, nine police cars. It was to the point to where you would think that somebody was getting arrested for murder, or something like that. And they were just jumping out of their vehicles, and me and my buddies already knew that we were in for a ride.

Ira Glass
The citation that the police gave Wade lists his name, the day that he's supposed to appear in court, but in the spot where it's supposed to specify his crime--

Andre Wade
Yes, in that field of the ticket there was nothing-- no violation. The violation was blank.

Ira Glass
One of the producers of our radio show lives in the 81st precinct. And she says that it's one of those neighborhoods where everybody has stories of ridiculous tickets. One of her neighbors was bringing his aunt home from the hospital, and he double parked. Two officers told him to move his car, and when he didn't, he was handcuffed, forced to lie down in the street, and tasered twice-- all in front of a crowd of people, including her, who live on the block and heard him calling for help. One common citation is for having an open container of alcohol. One neighbor says he was walking home from church with his six year old daughter, drinking a small carton of Tropicana orange juice, and he got a ticket for that. Others got tickets for water and Gatorade that was being given away at the park. George Walker has lived on the same block for over 40 years and says older guys like him get a lot of tickets. He thinks maybe they're targeted because they don't give the cops any fuss. He says he's gotten a dozen tickets this past year, nearly all for open container, even though he says he wasn't drinking alcohol.

George Walker
Every last ticket was dismissed. Every one was not a valid ticket. Because if you see someone drinking alcohol, and you give them a ticket for open container, you have to name what they were drinking. But if they can't name it, they just say cup with alcohol in it. But that's not the name of the alcohol, so it gets dismissed-- because it wasn't alcohol in the first place. But they feel like they can do anything the want to us.

Ira Glass
So in this police station, where everybody's obsessed with how many tickets they're writing-- where cops are told to pull people off corners and throw them in jail and figure out later what to charge them with-- comes Adrian Schoolcraft, who had no interest in making his numbers.

Adrian Schoolcraft
No, I never tried to make anything happen. I went out there, and you walk you beat. And whatever happened, happened.

Ira Glass
When you would talk to other officers in the precinct, did you have friends who felt the same way?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Yes.

Ira Glass
And would they not get the numbers, or would they get the numbers?

Adrian Schoolcraft
They would get the numbers. It's easier. Especially if you have a wife, kids. Then they're devoted to their pension and retiring.

Ira Glass
Do you not have a wife and kids?

Adrian Schoolcraft
No.

Ira Glass
And so you wouldn't go up to people just to give them a ticket?

Adrian Schoolcraft
No.

Ira Glass
Because?

Adrian Schoolcraft
It just wasn't right. I found I was getting along with a lot of the local business owners, and I started interacting with the residents, and they would tell me who the problems were. Now, if you start messing with the residents, and you start going into the barber shops and writing summonses that I don't feel police officers have any business writing-- they didn't sweep the floor of hair-- these are the same people that could help you perform your job as a patrolman or a police officer. That was my philosophy, and it did work.

Ira Glass
And so did you get a lot of heat for doing this?

Adrian Schoolcraft
He [UNINTELLIGIBLE] pressure from supervisors.

Ira Glass
What would they do?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Well I think they considered the foot post punishment, but I always enjoyed the foot post. But there's also hospitalized prisoners, prisoner transports.

Ira Glass
So they would assign you to these lousy posts?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Yeah. To get my mind right, they would try those, but I accepted those as normal duties as a police officer.

Ira Glass
But we still haven't gotten to the most disturbing thing documented by Adrian Schoolcraft and his recordings. Schoolcraft shows, over and over, that sometimes when real crimes would happen, serious crimes, the 81st precinct would reclassify them as lesser crimes-- or simply not put them in the system at all-- to make it look like the precinct was doing a better job driving down crime rates than it really was. Again reporter Graham Rayman.

Graham Rayman
There's a remarkable conversation that Schoolcraft has with another officer. And the other officer is just telling him three anecdotes of how the precinct commanding supervisor basically dumped three criminal complaints that should've been recorded.

Ira Glass
Yeah, what are the stories that he tells?

Graham Rayman
One is-- a young woman reports her cell phone was robbed, and the precinct commander basically says--

Police Officer
--what do you want me to do? What do you want to do with this?

Graham Rayman
What do you want us to do with this? How are we going to solve this? Are you going to get your phone back? You're not going to get your phone back.

Police Officer
I mean, he's like, "well, what if we can't get it back?" He's like, "are you going to press charges?"

Graham Rayman
He basically talks her out of filing a complaint, and that should be a robbery that should go in their numbers. And one of the other ones is-- the precinct commander responds to a report of a stolen vehicle. And his first question is, he asks the victim have you done jail time?

Police Officer
He's like, "you ever been arrested before?" He's like, "yeah." And he's like, "what for?"

Graham Rayman
--which is not really a proper question to ask of a crime victim. But he asks it, and the guy says yes. Yeah, I did eight years in prison when I was younger. And the precinct commander says maybe karma stole your car.

Police Officer
"So you think maybe Karma woke up this morning and took your car?"

Adrian Schoolcraft
Karma as in the spiritual--

Police Officer
He was like, "no, I don't think Karma takes cars." He's like, "I think somebody took my car."

Adrian Schoolcraft
So he didn't take his report because he's a felon?

Police Officer
Yeah. Basically.

Ira Glass
In the end, this cop tells Adrian, their supervisor, Stephen Mauriello, told him to file the case as an unauthorized driver.

Graham Rayman
--meaning that the guy loaned his car to somebody else who now has it.

Ira Glass
Then when the officer tried to file it that way, because he didn't have a name for the unauthorized driver, he couldn't file it at all. So the robbery went unreported. Rules go into effect in the 81st precinct that make it harder to report serious crimes. Officers are told that if there's a robbery, one of their supervisors has to come out to the scene themselves. And robbery victims are told that if they don't come into the police station, no crime report will be filed at all. After Graham Rayman started publishing these stories about Adrian Schoolcraft, retired cops and some on-duty cops started contacting him with their own anecdotes about crimes being downgraded from serious to much less serious-- the most shocking of these from a high ranking detective name Harold Hernandez.

Graham Rayman
He's a very distinguished detective. He was working in the 33rd precinct in Washington Heights. And one morning he comes into work and there's a guy who's accused of first degree rape sitting in his interview room. So he sits down and he looks at the guy. And he has a little twinge, and he says, have you ever done this before? And the guy said, yeah. And Hernandez says, how many times? And he says, oh, I don't know, seven or eight. And Hernandez says, where? And he goes, in this neighborhood. And Hernandez is now dumbstruck because there's been no report of a serial rapist-- sexual predator-- working the neighborhood.

Ira Glass
Like, no crimes have shown up. People haven't shown up saying they've been raped or assaulted.

Graham Rayman
He hasn't been notified. And he would be notified as a senior detective in the unit. It would be a very big deal. And so he says, can you give me the dates and locations? And the guy says, well, I can try, but you're going to have to take me around and I'll show. I'll show you. So he and a fellow detective get in the car and they drive around. And they look, and the suspect-- whose name is Darryl Thomas-- points out the locations. And then Hernandez takes his notebook and he writes down the locations. And then he goes back and he looks through stacks of crime complaints. And he finds them. And he realizes that they've been classified-- they've been downgraded. They've been classified either as criminal trespassing or criminal possession of a weapon-- both relatively minor crimes, given that the actual conduct in the narrative that the victims are describing is either first degree burglary, robbery, or sexual abuse, sexual assault. And he confronts his bosses about it. He confronts the precinct commander. And he confronts his detective squad commander. And everyone just shrugs. Meanwhile everyone's terrified that it's going to come out-- that these women are going to go to the press, and it's going to be a huge embarrassment, a huge scandal for the department. And if it had come out, it would have been a huge scandal for the department. But the department was able to keep it quiet. The District Attorney's office prosecuted Thomas and he went away for 50 years. But here's the interesting part-- they never publicized the case. There was never a press release issued about it. There was never a news article written about the case.

Ira Glass
Normally, Graham says, that a case like this-- serial rapist-- they'd try to get some press. But the misclassifications of the crimes would have made the NYPD look bad. No one was ever disciplined for what happened, for downgrading. The precinct commander was promoted twice by Commissioner Kelly.

Ira Glass
The guy who was in charge of that precinct where all this stuff happened?

Graham Rayman
Where this stuff happened. He's been promoted twice. It just went on, business as usual. Hernandez-- here's a guy who probably would've stayed in the department for 35 years, 30, 35-- as long as he could. But he was so upset about this incident and about other instances of downgrading and of manipulation of the crime stats that he retired.

Ira Glass
And so the NYPD has denied that crimes were downgraded like this.

Graham Rayman
Yeah. Well, they said that it only happens in a very tiny percentage of cases. And they say that the crimes stats are audited very carefully, And if it was a wider problem it would be spotted.

Ira Glass
The New York Police Department declined our request to come onto the radio or to have the officers who supervised Adrian Schoolcraft, and who are heard on his recordings, to be interviewed about their side of all this. But the pressure on police commanders to get better numbers really goes back to 1994, when New York started tracking crimes with a system called CompStat. CompStat, for the first time, gave commanders timely, accurate data once a week on what crimes are happening, so they could send more cops to deal with it. Chances are you've heard of all this. It became one of the best known successes in modern policing. Serious crime has dropped an astonishing 77% in New York City since CompStat began in 1994. Other cities very quickly started imitating it-- DC, Philly, LA. Baltimore's version of CompStat ended up in a recurring plot line on the TV show The Wire, where street cops are told by the bosses to do anything to pump up their numbers. And the problem with CompStat, says Professor Eli Silverman, who studies the way police forces use numbers, is that the early success of CompStat created the expectation that numbers must get better every single year, no matter what.

Eli Silverman
In the beginning it was like an orange. You could squeeze juice from an orange in the beginning much more readily than you can as you extract juice from that orange. And now, it gets harder and harder to drive crime down, because you're compared to not how you were in '94, but how you were last year the same week. And when something's pushed to the excess that it is now, and numbers dominate the system, that's when you have negative consequences.

Ira Glass
As apparently the one person in the 81st precinct who was not obsessed by the numbers, Adrian Schoolcraft, by January 2009, had so displeased his bosses that they gave him a failing job evaluation that covered the entire year of 2008-- which meant one thing, Schoolcraft says.

Adrian Schoolcraft
They're starting a paper trail, and they'll just keep documenting. They're starting to move you out.

Ira Glass
He hired a lawyer and appealed the evaluation, but started feeling more pressure than ever to go out and do what his bosses wanted. He began to get stomach pains and tightness in his chest. He had trouble sleeping. Again, reporter Graham Rayman.

Graham Rayman
I think within the precinct, he was probably seen as a little bit eccentric. And also, he wasn't going with the program. And anyone who doesn't go with the program is automatically marked.

Ira Glass
Schoolcraft began to feel that he was being retaliated against. He got written up for taking a bathroom break without putting it in his log. Another officer was written up for talking to him. When he went to the duty captain, he was told yes, he was being monitored.

Duty Captain
Because of your past activity. When people at the same level as you and the same post as you, are doing a lot more than what you do when you're out there, we don't know if you're even out there. That's the problem.

Ira Glass
If there's a bunch of kids on a stoop and you're walking past, the duty captain asks him, and then named some addresses where that might happen, you just go on your merry way, because you don't see anything going on? Schoolcraft tells him he wouldn't just create fake charges. That's a common practice here, he says. Captain asks him what he means, and says in 19 years, he's never seen anybody create charges. Then he asks Schoolcraft the question again.

Duty Captain
Those kids on the step. Are you going to keep walking?

Adrian Schoolcraft
No.

Duty Captain
Are you going to ask them if they live there?

Adrian Schoolcraft
You usually won't get a response, but--

Duty Captain
Right. [BLEEP] you, Schoolcraft. Right?

Adrian Schoolcraft
That's how it usually happens.

Duty Captain
Yeah. Are you going to create something there? Because I could tell you that if that [BLEEP] told me to [BLEEP] myself. Yeah, so you go in the handcuffs for telling me that? Yeah. That's it. If you let that go because there's no violation, because he didn't break the law, then I feel bad for you. Because then you have a tough job. And then maybe you should find something else to do, you know? So if you call that creating something? You call that creating something? Or do you call that a matter of keeping the respect, because they'll step all over you when they see you out there. They'll do whatever they want in front of you when you're out there.

Ira Glass
Schoolcraft says that around this time, the recordings became about trying to keep his job. Somebody tells him that one of his bosses wants to force him out on psychiatric grounds.

Ira Glass
During this whole time that you were recording, who did you tell?

Adrian Schoolcraft
My father knew.

Ira Glass
Friends?

Adrian Schoolcraft
No.

Ira Glass
Fellow officers?

Adrian Schoolcraft
No.

Ira Glass
Were you tempted to tell anybody ever?

Adrian Schoolcraft
No.

Ira Glass
What'd your dad say?

Adrian Schoolcraft
He would ask me if I heard anything that day.

Ira Glass
And when you were getting these orders to get your numbers up and you wouldn't do it, what did your dad say about that?

Adrian Schoolcraft
He would just reiterate to me how the quota system-- wherever you are, whatever city you're in-- it's unethical and it's illegal.

Ira Glass
So he was on your side.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Yes.

Ira Glass
Finally in April, Schoolcraft takes off a week for stomach and chest pains and is sent to a police department doctor. The doctor finds nothing wrong with him physically.

Adrian Schoolcraft
And he asked me if I was experiencing stress or anything. I said, well, yes. Matter of fact, this is what's going on. And he said, are you sure you want to tell me this?

Ira Glass
Schoolcraft says he laid it all out for the doctor-- his bad performance evaluation, the numbers he was asked to hit, and also more personal disputes with his bosses about whether his evaluation was falsified, was the precinct doing training it claimed it was doing. And the police department doctor referred Schoolcraft to see a police department psychologist for an evaluation. And when Schoolcraft tells the psychologist the same things that he told the doctor, she asked him to turn in his gun and shield.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Well, she made it sound like it was normal. She said, it's not unusual for us to take an officer's gun and shield if he or she is having chest pains. Schoolcraft moves to a job answering phones at the precinct, where he continues to gather evidence. And in October, he finally talks to the people in the police department who investigate unethical practices-- the Internal Affairs Bureau, IAB-- and it doesn't go well. Schoolcraft says that not only did they seem very skeptical, he claims that Internal Affairs left phone messages for him at the precinct. He says this alerted his bosses to the fact that he was talking to Internal Affairs. Internal Affairs does start an investigation, though. And soon, Schoolcraft gets a phone call from the division of the police department whose main purpose is to make sure that crime reporting and statistics using CompStat are accurate. It's called the Quality Assurance Division. And at last, Schoolcraft says, somebody seems to take his accusations seriously. Investigators hear him out, ask lots of questions, and promise to look into it.

Qad Representative
I appreciate you coming in, and bringing [INAUDIBLE] to our attention.

Ira Glass
He doesn't tell them that he has recordings. In fact, as you can hear, he secretly records this three hour meeting with them. But he does give them documentation-- real evidence to back up his charges. And what happens next to Adrian Schoolcraft is very, very strange. Just a few weeks after his meetings with Internal Affairs and QAD, he shows up to work. It's the end of October.

Adrian Schoolcraft
As soon as I sit down, a lieutenant approaches me and asks for my activity log. Well, this activity log is where I keep a lot of my notes regarding what people are saying and the times they're saying it.

Ira Glass
And all the things, basically, you're trying to report that you think are going wrong in the precinct.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Correct. And it wasn't until I got it back that I realized the cat was out of the bag. He had bent the corners on some of the pages, and I saw what piqued his interest. And I became very worried, how he was looming around me-- I felt threatened by it. And again, all these officers are armed. But I left with permission.

Ira Glass
Because you though, what was going to happen?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Well, I wasn't sure. I just felt his behavior worried me. And--

Ira Glass
But you thought he might provoke you into something, and then he would shoot you, or something?

Adrian Schoolcraft
That was one of the fears. I'm not just an officer inside. Now I'm an officer that has this psych issue. No one's supposed to know, but everyone knows that when you have your gun and shield taken, you've been psyched. And you have that brand on you. So what's going to happen? Are they going to say I lunged at him? Or are they-- any kind of scenario could play out. And I just didn't feel comfortable, so I left.

Ira Glass
How he left is in dispute. Schoolcraft says that he told a sergeant that he was feeling sick and went home an hour early. The police say the sergeant never said yes to this request. In any case, Schoolcraft went home and went to bed.

Adrian Schoolcraft
A few hours later, I received a phone call from my father, and he told me he received a phone call from my XO. He says, look outside your window. And I looked out my window and there were multiple police vehicles, and there seemed to be quite a crowd.

Police Officer
[KNOCKING] [INAUDIBLE]

Ira Glass
Adrian has no idea what they want, but he knows the situation is bad, so he starts recording.

Adrian Schoolcraft
31 October, 2009. [KNOCKING]

Ira Glass
The officers open Adrian's door with a key they get from his landlord.

Police Officer
Adrian! Police department, buddy. Let me see your hands.

Adrian Schoolcraft
They've just entered my home. And they were in their helmets, and gear, and tasers. They had the special weapon-- basically SWAT.

Police Officer
You all right?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Yeah, I think so.

Police Officer
Everybody's worried about you. They haven't heard from you.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Who's worried about me?

Michael Marino
Adrian, didn't you hear us knocking on this door for a couple of hours?

Adrian Schoolcraft
No. Why would I expect anyone to knock on my door?

Michael Marino
I don't know, Adrian. But if you hear somebody knocking, normally you get up and answer it. They were kicking on that door loud and yelling.

Adrian Schoolcraft
I wasn't feeling well.

Michael Marino
All right. Sit down. Sit down.

Ira Glass
That voice you just heard in Adrian's bedroom is a man of much higher rank than anybody in any of the recordings to this point. He's the number two commander for the NYPD for all of Brooklyn North, Michael Marino. Stephen Mauriello, the head of the 81st precinct, the commander that Adrian contends had been putting pressure on all the officers to deliver better numbers, is also there in the bedroom. He talks next.

Stephen Mauriello
You've got everybody worried. They're worried about your safety. All right?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Worried about what?

Stephen Mauriello
What do you mean, worried about what? They tried calling you. You got-- everybody's been calling you. You just walked out of the precinct, you know? That's what we're worried about. Your safety, your well-being.

Adrian Schoolcraft
All right. I'm fine.

Ira Glass
Why does he keep saying that he's worried about your safety?

Adrian Schoolcraft
That's his excuse to come into my home.

Stephen Mauriello
Get your stuff on. We're going back to the precinct.

Adrian Schoolcraft
I'm not going back to the precinct.

Stephen Mauriello
Adrian, we're going to go back to the precinct.

Adrian Schoolcraft
For?

Stephen Mauriello
Because we're going to do it the right way. You can't just walk out of command--

Adrian Schoolcraft
What's going to be done if I go to the 8-1?

Stephen Mauriello
What's going to be done. We're going to investigate why you left.

Adrian Schoolcraft
I'm telling you why I left. I was feeling sick.

Stephen Mauriello
Adrian, that's not the reason why you leave. All right, you know that.

Ira Glass
Adrian knows the rules and he asks if he's under arrest. He's not under arrest. But the number two commander for Brooklyn North, Michael Marino, tells him he's giving him an order.

Michael Marino
Listen to me. I'm a chief in the New York City Police Department, and you're a police officer. So this is what's going to happen, my friend. You've disobeyed an order, and the way you're acting is not right, at the very least.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Chief, if you--

Michael Marino
Stop right there.

Adrian Schoolcraft
--open up your house--

Michael Marino
Stop. Stop right there, son.

Adrian Schoolcraft
--how would you behave?

Michael Marino
Son, I'm doing the talking right now, not you.

Adrian Schoolcraft
In my apartment.

Michael Marino
In your apartment. You are going--

Adrian Schoolcraft
Is this Russia?

Michael Marino
You are going to be suspended. All right? That's what's going to happen. You're suspended son.

Adrian Schoolcraft
That's when I found out what they-- that's what they were so desperate to accomplish.

Ira Glass
How many people are in your bedroom at this point?

Adrian Schoolcraft
In the bedroom, at all times, there's at least four. And then there's a living room-- at least a dozen.

Ira Glass
If this seems like an extreme response to you, reporter Graham Rayman confirms, it is.

Graham Rayman
Yeah, it's very extreme for going home from work early-- an hour early.

Ira Glass
An officer asks Adrian if he wants medical aid-- an EMT to come check him out. Adrian's blood pressure turns out to be sky high. They offer to take him to a hospital, but not his local hospital-- to one that he's never heard of. And he doesn't get what they're up to, and he refuses medical attention. Under the law, they should leave him alone. But for some reason, they will not take no for an answer.

Stephen Mauriello
Adrian, lie down in the bus and we'll go.

Adrian Schoolcraft
I can lie down in my own bed. I haven't done anything wrong.

Stephen Mauriello
Yeah, you have.

Adrian Schoolcraft
OK, file it. Write it up.

Stephen Mauriello
Now, it's a matter of your health.

Michael Marino
Adrian, listen to me. All right, son?

Ira Glass
Again, this is Deputy Chief Marino, from Brooklyn North.

Michael Marino
Right now, EMS is saying that you're acting irrational-- this is them, not us-- and that if you go to the hospital, listen to me--

Adrian Schoolcraft
Yeah, and you're whispering in their ear--

Michael Marino
Adrian, they are not--

Adrian Schoolcraft
Chief, do what you've got to do.

Michael Marino
--listen to me. Now you have a choice. You get up like a man and put your shoes on and walk into that bus--

Adrian Schoolcraft
Like a man.

Michael Marino
--like a man. Or son, they're going to treat you as an EDP and that means handcuffs. And I do not want to see that happen to a cop.

Ira Glass
EDP is?

Adrian Schoolcraft
Emotionally Disturbed Person.

Michael Marino
Son, you've caused this.

Adrian Schoolcraft
I didn't cause anything.

Michael Marino
You have caused this. Now you have a choice. They're saying you have to go to the hospital. That's EMS. These are trained medical professionals. And if you don't go, then you're not acting rationally. And they say now they're afraid you're emotionally disturbed.

Adrian Schoolcraft
It was all very surreal. At that point right there, he's very agitated. His face is red, and I knew then that anything could happen. I had no witnesses. No one was living with me.

Michael Marino
So you have a choice. What is it going to be?

Adrian Schoolcraft
I'm laying right here until I feel better.

Michael Marino
OK, son. He's EDP. He's EDP.

Police Officer
Put your hands behind your back.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Why am I putting my hands behind my back?

Michael Marino
Because you have to go to the hosptial. All right, just take him. I can't [BLEEP] understand him anymore.

Police Officer
Adrian, come here. Put your hands behind your back.

Adrian Schoolcraft
[GRUNTS]

Police Officer
Get your hands behind your back.

Adrian Schoolcraft
[GRUNTS]

Police Officer
Get one hand. Go ahead. Get one hand.

Adrian Schoolcraft
They pulled me off the bed. They slammed me to the floor. The way they were stomping on my back, they were pressing on my chest in a way that it was affecting my circulation.

Michael Marino
Adrian stop it.

Adrian Schoolcraft
My chest. Oh, my chest.

Ira Glass
During the struggle, as they cuff Adrian, the little recorder falls out of his pocket. Deputy Chief Marino spots it.

Michael Marino
Absolutely amazing, Adrian. You put your fellow police officers through this. Absolutely amazing. Yeah, it's a recorder. Recording devices, and everything else-- so he's playing a game here. Cute.

Ira Glass
So if he found that recorder, how are we hearing this tape?

Adrian Schoolcraft
No, he found the recorder that was in my pocket. There was another recorder. The one that was running was just a recorder on the shelf.

Ira Glass
In plain sight?

Adrian Schoolcraft
I had some books around it.

Ira Glass
Now that Deputy Chief Marino has labeled Schoolcraft EDP, the police take Schoolcraft and commit him to a psychiatric ward, saying he was a danger to himself. Schoolcraft, who had spent months documenting his bosses telling cops to lock people up on contrived pretenses, now found himself locked up on contrived pretenses.

Adrian Schoolcraft
They told the hospital staff that I left work early, I yelled at my supervisor-- and I swore at my supervisors, cursed at them-- that I ran from them, and I barricaded myself in my home.

Ira Glass
But the tapes showed that isn't true.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Correct, no. None of that happened.

Ira Glass
Schoolcraft's father, the last person Schoolcraft talked to, is unable to find him for days. The last he heard, his son was in an apartment surrounded by police, the next, he just vanished. His father says he called Internal Affairs, the FBI, the press. Finally he located him by calling around the hospitals all over Queens.

Adrian Schoolcraft
That's the only way I got out, because he confronted the hospital administration and said, here's my son's health care proxy, I'm his father. Why have you imprisoned my son here? And they had no answer, and they had to release me.

Ira Glass
Why do you think they went so far with you?

Adrian Schoolcraft
It seemed like an act of desperation. Panic.

Graham Rayman
You can look at it in a couple of different ways.

Ira Glass
Again, reporter Graham Rayman.

Graham Rayman
One is that they put him in the psych ward because he tried to report corruption and misconduct. They literally tried to destroy his reputation.

Ira Glass
Like, he's literally crazy. That's the message.

Graham Rayman
Yeah, right. That they were trying to portray him as crazy. You could also look at it-- that the chief lost his temper that night. Just got angry and gave an order that turns out to be a totally inappropriate order. I could see that being the case also.

Ira Glass
At the time that he led the raid on Schoolcraft's apartment, Deputy Chief Michael Marino was already under a microscope. It was just a month after he had been put on trial inside the department after a sting named him as one of 27 cops who illegally bought human growth hormone, or steroids. Marino claimed that he used the human growth hormone for a medical condition. And back in 2006, an arbitrator found that Marino was in violation of New York labor laws for a very similar situation to the one that Schoolcraft was documenting. The arbitrator ruled that Marino had set up an illegal quota for police officers of four parking tickets, three moving violations, three quality of life summons, and two stop-and-frisk per month and then penalized the officers when they didn't make the quota.

Adrian Schoolcraft
I didn't figure I would lose my job.

Ira Glass
Adrian Schoolcraft says that in the end, none of this worked out the way he thought it would during all those months of recording.

Adrian Schoolcraft
I figured someone would approach the supervisor and say, listen you got caught. Knock it off. And everything's in house, still. Just knock it off. This is getting out of control. I never saw myself as an adversary.

Ira Glass
Because you assumed that the police commissioner-- the people at the very top of the police force-- that they would be on your side.

Adrian Schoolcraft
Correct.

Ira Glass
But now do you believe that, in fact, they would be on your side?

Adrian Schoolcraft
I don't believe they were, or ever intended to be.

Ira Glass
That's the question, of course. And there's really no way to know how typical the 81st precinct is. Reporter Graham Rayman has heard from retired cops who say the same things happened where they worked. And he's found a policeman who was secretly recording in the Bronx at the same time as Schoolcraft finding the same things. The guys who study the way CompStat is used by the police, John Eterno and Eli Silverman, say manipulating stats to get better numbers seems to happen in a lot of places where CompStat is used.

Eli Silverman
There's evidence of the same kind of distortion-- we've done research, where people have written in our blog-- from other countries, UK, Australia, as well. Commanders attesting to the same phenomenon. This is not unique to New York.

Ira Glass
Having failed to reach any results working inside the department, Schoolcraft finally went to the press. And Graham's five-part series in The Village Voice has been, Adrian says, like a meteor hitting the 81st precinct. The police commissioner transferred Commander Stephen Mauriello, and some of the other senior-level supervisors, out of the precinct. Though he only did that after several weeks of pressure from politicians and clergy. There's now one police investigation into Schoolcraft's allegations, there's another investigation of Deputy Chief Marino's order to put Schoolcraft into a psych ward, another into the charge that serious crimes were downgraded to lesser ones, and a fourth that is just about the misclassification of crimes in Detective Hernandez's sexual assault case. Schoolcraft's recordings will be used in two class action lawsuits, one about stop-and-frisks, one about quotas. Schoolcraft himself is suing the department for $50 million. Two officers have come forward to back up his charges. A website, schoolcraftjustice.com has been set up looking for more. Schoolcraft himself is suspended without pay, living with his dad, 350 miles away, in upstate New York-- where, he says, a dozen times city police have shown up and pounded on his door, yelling, "NYPD, we know you're in there. Open up." [KNOCKING] Of course, he recorded it.

Police Officer
Adrian, we know you're in there. Just open the door please, so we can get back to New York.

Ira Glass
Schoolcraft assumes that he'll never again work as a police officer anywhere.

Ira Glass
Is it weird not to be a policeman anymore?

Adrian Schoolcraft
It feels odd. But I still feel like I am a policeman. I'm going forward with this investigation. I just feel like this is my case. This is the one. And I'll go all the way with it.

Ira Glass
And finally, with the 81st precinct under new supervision, the numbers on serious crime have risen by 10-15%. Are the crimes going up, or that's closer to the true amount of crime that was already there, only now being recorded? [MUSIC - "OFFICER" BY THE PHARCYDE] Well, our program today was produced by me and Sarah Koenig, with Alex Blumberg, Ben Calhoun, Jane Feeltes, Jonathan Menjivar, Lisa Pollak, Robin Semien, and Alissa Shipp and Nancy Updike. Our senior producer is Julie Snyder. Seth Lind is our production manager. Emily Condon's our office manager. Music help from Jessica Hopper. Production help from Shawn Wen. [ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS] This American Life is distributed by Public Radio International. WBEZ management oversight of our program by our boss, Mr. Torey Malatia, who's got no problem with the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Seriously.

Joe Lipari
No, I have a gay cousin. I am the least homophobic person in the world.

Ira Glass
I'm Ira Glass. Back next week with more stories of This American Life.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:18 PM   #74
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:30 PM   #77
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http://www.city-journal.org/2014/eon1222hm.html

In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the U.S.—almost all killed by black civilians—resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. None of those killings triggered mass protests; they are deemed normal and beneath notice. The police, by contrast, according to published reports, kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The percentage of black suspects killed by the police nationally is 29 percent lower than the percentage of blacks mortally threatening them."
Dubious data, dubious assertions, dubious conclusions.

Quote:
How many police shootings a year? No one knows
By Wesley Lowery September 8

A summer of high-profile police shootings, most notably the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has rekindled a decades-long debate over law enforcement’s use of lethal force.

Police unions and some law-and-order conservatives insist that shootings by officers are rare and even more rarely unjustified. Civil rights groups and some on the left have just as quickly prescribed racial motives to the shootings, declaring that black and brown men are being “executed” by officers.

And, like all previous incarnations of the clash over police force, the debate remains absent access to a crucial, fundamental fact.

Criminal justice experts note that, while the federal government and national research groups keep scads of data and statistics— on topics ranging from how many people were victims of unprovoked shark attacks (53 in 2013) to the number of hogs and pigs living on farms in the U.S. (upwards of 64,000,000 according to 2010 numbers) — there is no reliable national data on how many people are shot by police officers each year.

The government does, however, keep a database of how many officers are killed in the line of duty. In 2012, the most recent year for which FBI data is available, it was 48 – 44 of them killed with firearms.

But how many people in the United States were shot, or killed, by law enforcement officers during that year? No one knows.

Officials with the Justice Department keep no comprehensive database or record of police shootings, instead allowing the nation’s more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies to self-report officer-involved shootings as part of the FBI’s annual data on “justifiable homicides” by law enforcement.

That number – which only includes self-reported information from about 750 law enforcement agencies – hovers around 400 “justifiable homicides” by police officers each year. The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics also tracks “arrest-related deaths.” But the department stopped releasing those numbers after 2009, because, like the FBI data, they were widely regarded as unreliable.

“What’s there is crappy data,” said David A. Klinger, a former police officer and criminal justice professor at the University of Missouri who studies police use of force.

Several independent trackers, primarily journalists and academics who study criminal justice, insist the accurate number of people shot and killed by police officers each year is consistently upwards of 1,000 each year.


“The FBI’s justifiable homicides and the estimates from (arrest-related deaths) both have significant limitations in terms of coverage and reliability that are primarily due to agency participation and measurement issues,” said Michael Planty, one of the Justice Department’s chief statisticians, in an email.

Even less data exists for officer-involved shootings that do not result in fatalities.

“We do not have information at the national level for police shootings that result in non-fatal injury or no injury to a civilian,” Planty said.

Comprehensive statistics on officer-involved shootings are also not kept by any of the nation’s leading gun violence and police research groups and think tanks.

In fact, prior to the Brown’s shooting, the only person attempting to keep track of the number of police shootings was D. Brian Burghart, the editor and publisher of the 29,000-circulation Reno News & Review, who launched his “Fatal Encounters” project in 2012.

“Don’t you find it spookey? This is information, this is the government’s job,” Burghart said. “One of the government’s major jobs is to protect us. How can it protect us if it doesn’t know what the best practices are? If it doesn’t know if one local department is killing people at a higher rate than others? When it can’t make decisions based on real numbers to come up with best practices? That to me is an abdication of responsibilities.”

Burghart has enlisted a team of volunteers to search news clips as well as file records requests for data, with the goal of collecting a database that will chronicle several years-worth of police shootings.

As of September 1, according to Burghart’s estimates, 83 other people had been killed by police officers in the United States since Michael Brown’s death.

Law enforcement watchdog groups and think tanks say that the lack of comprehensive data on police shootings hampers the ability of departments to develop best practices and cut down on unnecessary shootings.

The way we improve practices is to take information about what’s happening in the field to make those improvements,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonpartisan think tank in D.C. that produces reports on police tactics. “The more we know about (the number of officer-involved shootings) the better off we’ll be.”

Other than basic statistical analysis, Wexler said, a comprehensive database of police shootings would allow departments to better analyze when officers are drawing and using their guns – potentially leading to policy changes that could save lives.

He noted a shift in policy by the New York Police Department in 1972, in which the department instructed its officers to no longer shoot at moving vehicles.

“When they made that change the number of NYPD shootings plummeted,” he said.

James O. Pasco, the national executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, believes that an accurate database would require Congress to pass a law requiring police departments to report their shooting data to a federal agency, presumably the FBI.

“Otherwise it’s an unfunded mandate,” Pasco said. “About 80 percent of police departments have fewer than 10 officers. They don’t have huge data collecting operations. They don’t even have a single person in some of these departments who are dedicated to all the statistical work they have to do now.”

Pasco said he doesn’t know what the union’s position would be on a legal requirement to report shootings and the result of shooting investigations.

“It would depend on what the law looked like,” he said. “Clearly, if it’s just a function of collecting the data, I can’t see that we would have a problem with that. Our issues are with due process for officers.”

The most detailed analysis of police shootings to date was conducted by Jim Fisher, a former FBI agent and criminal justice professor who now authors true crime books.

“I was rather surprised to find there are no statistics,” Fisher said. “The answer to me is pretty obvious: the government just doesn’t want us to know how many people are shot by the police every year.”

In 2011, he scoured the Internet several times a day every day, compiling a database of every officer-involved shooting he could find. Ultimately, he tracked 1,146 shootings by police officers, 607 of them fatal shootings.

“I was surprised at how many shootings, a reasonable person would conclude, were unnecessary,” Fisher said.

Earlier this year, the Gawker Media-owned sports Web site Deadspin launched a project to crowd-source a definitive list of police shootings by analyzing local media reports – a system modelled off of Fisher’s 2011 effort.

“Having that data would be extremely helpful, in more ways than one,” said Adolphus M. Pruitt, president of the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP, who has been one of those most vocal about allegations of police brutality in light of Brown’s shooting. “We track everything. There is no reason in the world for us to not be able to know just how many people the police are shooting in any given year.”

In the absence of reliable data, the FBI’s “justifiable homicides” statistics continues to be widely cited in academic studies, media reports, and other examinations of the use of lethal force by law enforcement despite being decried as unreliable by officials inside the Justice Department and other officials outside of the government.

As they do, criminal justice experts note that even compiling accurate numbers of people shot and killed by the police would be just a start.

“Every study that I’m aware of shows that most of the people who are shot by the cops survive and most of the time when cops shoot the bullets don’t hit,” said Klinger, who will soon publish a new study analyzing police shootings in St. Louis.

That study, prepared with several other academics, found that there were 230 instances in the City of St. Louis between 2003 and 2012 when officers fired their weapons. Only 37 of those fired upon were killed.

“If your statistics look just at dead bodies you’d be under-counting it by 85 percent,” Klinger said. “If the cops are shooting, we need to now when they are shooting, not just when they kill somebody with the bullets.”
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Old 12-24-2014, 12:07 PM   #78
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Obviously, Pandora's box has already been opened. I don't see how making guns "illegal" could possibly be a good idea at this point. There are quite simply too many out there.. and they can too easily be brought across the border. It's just not realistic.

As for the tragedy.. It's horrific. Obviously, there are good cops and there are bad cops. I have never run across a cop that was in any way anything other than professional. But as in any profession, there are bad seeds. Especially when you consider the stress that they go through. Can you imagine what it's like going to work with at least a somewhat realistic chance that someone is going to try and end your life at some point during your shift? Imagine being a cop in places that are riddled with violence.. You have so many split second decisions to make. I get really, really tired of people talking about a policemen shooting an "unarmed" teen. I wasn't the kind of guy that was going to strike fear in anyone's eyes as a teen. However, I knew a lot of people that could have easily killed another man with their hands at that age. Not having a knife or a gun does not mean that you're not more than capable of severely injuring or even ending someone's life.

Obviously, we have a media that is all about the controversy for ratings. Rush to judgment to get more viewership. Say whatever has to be said to make sure that your constituents are riled up.... Turn it everything into a political rant even when it has no business being political... Or turn it into a racial issue because that will help your politics as well. It's all about politics and ratings.. keep people angry so they'll keep viewing.. Keep people angry so they'll get out and vote... regardless of what the truth is for the particular case.
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Old 12-24-2014, 04:56 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by EricaLubarsky View Post
The irony here is AMAZING. You tell me how I can and cannot think and feel and then tell me to think for myself in the most condescending of ways. Genius.
I didn't tell you how to think. I just pointed out that you weren't thinking very clearly when you wrote what you wrote. Well...if that means I was telling you to think clearly, then I guess so. But I would hope that you would want that for yourself without someone having to encourage you.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:50 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Murphy3 View Post
Obviously, Pandora's box has already been opened. I don't see how making guns "illegal" could possibly be a good idea at this point. There are quite simply too many out there.. and they can too easily be brought across the border. It's just not realistic.
They did exactly that in Australia, and it worked. And the President who passed that law was conservative John Howard.

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