From the comments on the VV article:
...and now The Village Voice has them and oh, my.
Certainly not altogether that shocking for the cynics among us but still, quite unsettling to have so many fears and suspicions regarding policemen seemingly confirmed.
This is of course my favorite bit:
My least favorite: officers calling up robbery victims and intimidating them into not reporting any incident in order to keep their precinct stats down :(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.
Just watch the Wire and look at it as a documentary, and this is as it is.
Remember when innovative policing focused on measurements was going to save us? Good god, what a bureaucratic clusterfuck of badly designed incentives.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.
The memo book thing actually increases my opinion of police, though. Hilarious.
Edit: Assuming this gets enough coverage, expect total NY media meltdown. Unbelievable.
Last edited by Jason McCullough; 05-07-2010 at 09:04 PM.
Isn't the 81st Ed McBain's precinct?
I'm pretty sure it's the 87th but I'm only on my fourth or fifth book so I'm by no means an authority.
Christ, how does shit like this happen?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.
It's not clear to me why 12 police supervisors would go to a man's house when he takes a sick day to convince him to get back to work.
First question: Why?
Second question: Why is this a priority for 12 supervisors?
I imagine it has to do with the first sentence in that line: Three weeks after his meeting with QAD investigators, on October 31
This series is fascinating.
So precinct commander Mauriello ordered that certain street corners be cleared of people. Officers were told to ask people to move, and if they refused, to arrest them on some minor charge, such as disorderly conduct, hold them in the precinct cells for a few hours, and then release them.
Mauriello would often roam the precinct in his car. When he saw groups on particular corners, he would call in officers to arrest the people on low-level charges. These collars came to be called "Mauriello Specials."
On June 12, 2008, a sergeant tells the precinct's officers to make the arrests even if they have to cancel the charges at the end of their shift. "Guy's on the corner? You gotta leave. Bounce. Get lost," he says. "You'll void it later on in the night so you'll all go home on time."
On July 1, 2008, a sergeant tells his cops: "Be an asshole. They gonna do something, shine a light in their face. Inconvenience them. It saves trouble later on. Some of you with good activity are going to be moving up."
As a former Brooklyn resident and a citizen of the U.S of A, this makes me want to puke.
I can tell you, the technique Mauriello is talking about, of disruption, is effective in deterring serious offenses. Hassling corners where people are selling drugs or gambling to get them to disperse provides the value that not everyone who is dispersed reengages in negative activity at the next location. If you bump people off corners sufficiently, you can reduce the size of the corners. If you can reduce the size of the corners, you can provide safety and limit the seriousness of offenses.
Arresting people on spurious or weak charges when they refuse to move off a problem corner is not desired, but rather it is a symptom of underfunded police departments. It is cheaper to arrest on minor offenses and give citations than it is to house a murderer for thirty years. It is also cheaper to bump them off the corners than it is to post a car there twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year. The most moral option is to disrupt aggregation of low level criminals at corners through community watch and increased police presence with 24/7 coverage, but the money just is not there. So the bump method is utilized. In the end, it results in less prison time and less loss of life than not bumping.
Obviously, bumping people off corners is similar to the old Chicago method of gun control, which is to simply conduct illegal searches of individuals with the full knowledge that the evidence of the gun would be suppressed and the charge dismissed, but that the end result would be one more gun off the street and at least some criminal activity disrupted. It is a targeted and intentional violation of civil rights made after a calculation as to precisely what recourse those whose rights have been violated would have available. In most cases, suppression of evidence is the sole remedy, and people will walk away once charges are dropped.
So instead of conducting stings and arresting people on solid charges once a day, they disperse everyone and know that some may not immediately take up the same activity nearby. After all, there are only so many corners in any urban area where open air drug dealing is tolerated. It is like a game of whackamole, but it is not an infinitely large game of whackamole.Originally Posted by Real Cost of Prisons, Fortune Magazine, April 31, 2001
So, basically, the Wire.
How big should your bribe be if you want it to work? Large enough that the person being bribed doesn't look twice. Colloquially known as politics.
It's awesome that I discovered this a week before moving out of NYC. And not sooner.
Leaked report confirms all of it.
In October 2009, Schoolcraft met with NYPD investigators for three hours and detailed more than a dozen cases of crime reports being manipulated in the district. Three weeks after that meeting—which was supposed to have been kept secret from Schoolcraft's superiors—his precinct commander and a deputy chief ordered Schoolcraft to be dragged from his apartment and forced into the Jamaica Hospital psychiatric ward for six days.
In the wake of our series, NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered an investigation into Schoolcraft's claims. By June 2010, that investigation produced a report that the department has tried to keep secret for nearly two years.
The Voice has obtained that 95-page report, and it shows that the NYPD confirmed Schoolcraft's allegations. In other words, at the same time that police officials were attacking Schoolcraft's credibility, refusing to pay him, and serving him with administrative charges, the NYPD was sitting on a document that thoroughly vindicated his claims.
Ah yes, guilt by association. The American police love it too.
"Known" criminals, right, and anyone who might know them...like people in their community, who are the very people who might help them reform! This is precisely the sort of crap which leads to extremely high rates of criminal records in communities and ensures that crime continues to remain high when you destroy their other options with those records. Hate not hope.
Oh look, something very similar in the UK - http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/ap...-warned-racism
You can't spend more than ten minutes on a drug corner without knowing it's a drug corner and wanting to be there. I don't generally like the police very much, but dispersing people from corners is not a bad tactic. An open container or disorderly conduct charge doesn't ruin anyone's life.
Does it ruin your life if you get it seemingly every goddamn time you leave the house? Because that's what we're talking about here.
In the neighborhoods under discussion young black men age tend to hang out on corners and on stoops, whether they're criminals or not. They get constantly harrassed, frisked, and arrested on trumped-up charges for it because that "makes the numbers" that the cops use to justify their budgets, rather than doing real work.
I didn't see it mentioned in this thread, but This American Life did a segment on Adrian Schoolcraft that features a lot of the actual audio he recorded. The net effect is far more chilling than the stuff that ran in the Voice.
Listen, bumping corners is not ideal. It's better than stings and worse than posting officers on the corners and having them wave customers away.