Former NYPD cop: “we fabricated charges to meet quotas”

And to think that some people wonder why there is so much animosity towards police officers!  

from NY Daily News:

A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.

"Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case," he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.

"I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy," Anderson testified last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

He made clear he wasn’t about to pass off the two legit arrests he had made in the bar to Tavarez.

"As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division," he said.

NYPD officials did not respond to a request for comment.

read the rest

Does this mean that all cops are bad?  Certainly not!  Does it impugn the cops who go along with these practices rather than speak out?  Yes indeed.

There is corruption in police precincts in all 50 states, and the good cops out there need to start speaking up if they don’t want to get sucked into the vortex.

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‘Resisting arrest’ could lead to felony punishment in NY – report

New Yorker Tyeesha Mobley was at a gas station near her Bronx apartment with her two sons when she caught the older boy, aged nine, stealing $10 out of her purse. Thinking this was a good opportunity to teach him a lesson about honesty and consequences, she called the police, asking them to help her communicate the seriousness of stealing.

When the police arrived, however, Mobley’s Arrested Development-style lesson quickly escalated into a terrifying situation. Three of the four officers who arrived at the gas station apparently understood that this was a lighthearted call. 

“They started asking Tyleke what did he take,” said Mobley. “He told them. And about three officers was joking around with him, telling him, ‘You can’t be stealing, you’ll wind up going in the police car.’”

The fourth cop, however, had different ideas. He began yelling: “You black b——es don’t know how to take care of your kids … why are you wasting our time, we aren’t here to raise your kid … why don’t you take your f—-ing kid and leave?”

When she tried to follow his order, Mobley says the fourth officer arrested her, refusing to give a reason. While she and her children cried for him to stop, one of the other officers attempted to intervene, saying, “We are not supposed to act like this.”

He replied, “Black b——es like that … this is how I treat them.”

After her arrest, Mobley was hospitalized for the bruises she’d sustained on her legs thanks to the fourth cop kicking her during the arrest. She successfully fought off child endangerment charges—a pretty interesting charge given that the “endangerment” in question seems to have been calling the police.

Mobley’s two children were placed in foster care for four months, where they reportedly received sub-par care. Now, having recovered her children—who have undoubtedly learned a very different lesson than the one she intended to teach—Mobley is suing the NYPD.

And, to paraphrase J. Walter Weatherman, that’s why you don’t call the police.

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But they keep telling us it’s all in our heads. We are making it up. (Source)

Two Media Matters for America studies of crime coverage in 2014 uncovered a disturbing pattern—every major network affiliate station in New York is consistently over-representing Black people as perpetrators of crime. They are unfairly and disproportionately focusing their crime reporting on Black suspects, and inaccurately exaggerating the proportion of Black people involved in crime—on average, exaggerating by 24 percentage points.

Read the report (HERE).

The NYPD may be editing the Wikipedia pages of people it killed

Computers linked to the department made numerous edits to pages on high-profile deaths

A report from Capital New York has traced edits made on the Wikipedia pages of three men killed by New York Police Derpatment officers to computers operating on the department’s network at One Police Plaza. Entries about the death of Eric Garner and Amadou Diallo were edited, while a piece on Sean Bell was submitted for deletion. “He [Bell] was in the news for about two months, and now no one except Al Sharpton cares anymore. The police shoot people every day, and times with a lot more than 50 bullets. This incident is more news than notable,” wrote a Wikipedia user operating from the NYPD’s network address.

Users editing Wikipedia entries about themselves to be less damming or more flattering is fairly common. There is an entire Twitter account devoted to cataloging edits about Congress made from Congress. But revisions swapping “most unqualified” for “youngest” in describing a politician are far less troubling than attempts to control the historical narrative around the violent deaths of unarmed civilians.

Computers on the NYPD network also edited an entry on its controversial “Stop and Frisk” program as well as deleting sections describing police misconduct, scandals, and corruption from Wikipedia’s entry on the NYPD itself. Wikipedia asks editors to avoid conflict of interest, but has little ability to meaningfully trace the source of most changes. The NYPD told Capital New York these edits were “under internal review.”

NYPD Has a Plan to Magically Turn Anyone It Wants Into a Felon | Gawker

On Wednesday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton urged state legislators to consider increasing the penalty for resisting arrest from a misdemeanor to a felony. The change, he argued, would help New Yorkers “get around this idea that you can resist arrest. You can’t.” It would also give cops an easy way to turn victims of their own worst impulses into the worst class of criminal.

In theory, a resisting arrest charge allows the state to further punish suspects who endanger the safety of police officers as they’re being apprehended; in practice, it gives tautological justification to cops who enjoy roughing people up. Why did you use force against that suspect, officer? Because she was resisting arrest. How do I know you’re telling the truth? Because I charged her with it, sir.

Consider a few recent would-be felons:

  • Chaumtoli Huq, former general counsel to NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, who was charged with resisting arrest for waiting for her family outside the Times Square Ruby Tuesday’s.
  • Jahmil-El Cuffee, who was charged with resisting arrest after he found himself on the receiving end of a head-stomp from a barbarous cop because he was allegedly rolling a joint. (“Stop resisting!” cops screamed at him as he lay helpless, pinned under a pile of officers.)
  • Denise Stewart, who was charged with resisting arrest after a gang of New York’s Finest threw her half-naked from her own apartment into the lobby of her building. (They had the wrong apartment, it turned out.)
  • Santiago Hernandez, who was charged with resisting arrest after a group of cops beat the shit out of him following a stop-and-frisk. “One kicks me, he steps back. Another one comes to punch me and he steps back…They were taking turns on me like a gang,” Hernandez told reporters.
  • Eric Garner, who no doubt would have been charged with resisting had the chokehold from Daniel Pantaleo not ended his life first.

Cops using resistance as an excuse for their own abuse isn’t some wild conspiracy theory. Sam Walker, a law-enforcement expert and retired University of Nebraska-Omaha criminal justice professor, told WNYC in December:

"There’s a widespread pattern in American policing where resisting arrest charges are used to sort of cover – and that phrase is used – the officer’s use of force," said Walker, the accountability expert from the University of Nebraska. "Why did the officer use force? Well, the person was resisting arrest."

Fortunately, city district attorneys know the drill, and often have the good sense to dismiss resisting charges when perps are brought up in court. But Bratton would like to see that provision thrown out as well. “The vast majority [of charges] might end up being dismissed,” he said at the joint hearing of state senate committees Wednesday. “We’re asking district attorneys to treat them more seriously than they have been treated in the past.”

Anticipating criticism, Bratton told the assembled lawmakers that he already had a plan to curb abuse: the department would use its CompStat arrest-tracking system to monitor officers who make lots of resisting charges that are eventually dropped, leaving oversight of the NYPD to the NYPD itself.

(Photo Credit: AP)

Wikipedia discourages users from making edits that might be considered a ‘conflict of interest’. The NYPD is trying to do whatever it can to manipulate and steer the narrative around their disturbing behavior and we cannot allow them to do that.
These weren’t corrections to inaccurate facts: This was a blatant attempt at the retelling of history.

If you’d like to call on the Commissioner to send a message, click here: 
http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/nypd_wiki/?t=4&akid=4200.1818856.H1ytcv

The NYPD likes to play up all of the officers that died “in the line of duty” to justify its brutal behavior. Aside from the two officers killed in reprisal, not a single officer was shot and killed in 2014. In fact, prior to the reprisal, the last cop killed by gunfire was in 2011. Prior to 2011, the last time an NYPD cop was intentionally killed by gunfire was 2007. In 2009, there was another officer killed by gunfire but he was shot by other NYPD cops that opened fire because well… He was a black man with a gun.
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Michelle Alexander: NYPD slowdown celebrated by New Yorkers of color
January 9, 2015

For the second consecutive week, New York City police have virtually ceased writing tickets and arresting people for many nonviolent crimes, on the order of a 90 percent drop from a year earlier. After perceived slights by Mayor Bill de Blasio, civil protests against police brutality, and the murder of two officers by a deranged gunman, the New York Police Department is fighting back by not doing its job. Or rather, police appear to be using their resentment as an organizing incentive to skip certain non-essential cop duties.

The police seem to be trying to teach a lesson to a city they feel doesn’t adequately appreciate them. For New Yorkers who value fair policing, though, the slowdown is an occasion to celebrate.

Many of the offenses police have tacitly declared legal are considered quality-of-life (QOL) infractions. Those follow the broken window strategy, a policing philosophy that has been widely discredited since its heyday in Rudy Giuliani’s mayoralty. QOL meets small transgressions with arrests and fines—a way, it’s thought, to nip more substantial crimes in the bud. Perhaps because QOL policing grants cops near-unlimited discretion in determining whom to sanction, its penalties fall disproportionately on people of color. Between 2001 and 2013, the New York Daily News found, more than 80 percent of the 7.3 million people penalized for these infractions were black or Latino. The vast majority of African Americans and Latinos in all walks of life feel like they’re treated unfairly by law enforcement, and consider police discrimination the most endemic form of societal mistreatment.It’s unfairbrutalracist, and financially burdensome, and it often follows such small transgressions as jaywalking, skipping $2.50 subway fares or merely irritating police. 

To many of us from these communities, the past two weeks have amounted to a vacation from fear, surveillance and punishment. Maybe this is what it feels like to not be prejudged and seen as suspicious law breakers. Maybe this is a small taste of what it feels like to be white. 

Here is my story of two cities. Ten years ago, when I first moved to New York City, some friends invited me out to an afternoon concert in Central Park. This was an event filled with upper-middle-class white people enjoying music and culture—and an occasion, it turned out, to flaunt the city’s open-container laws. I was naïve enough to be surprised at how many of my friends were publicly drinking wine and liquor from badly disguised canisters, cups, and flasks. Eventually the party staggered out of the park and on to the Upper West Side, down the streets, and into the subways. Riders greeted us with smiles and laughter, pedestrians gave us you-crazy-kids nudges. Our portable debauchery snaked all the way home to our dorm rooms.

A few months later I was walking around the Lower East Side, on my way to meet friends. I decided to stop into a bodega and get a beer, which I sipped out of a brown paper bag as I blithely wandered near a housing project. A police officer materialized, and when he checked my ID, he seemed surprised that I didn’t live in the housing project. He wrote me a ticket me for the open container and let me go. I didn’t think much of it. I was, in fact, breaking the law. But what a contrast from my earlier infractions, in a white space with white friends.

When I went to court for my ticket, I noticed that almost everyone there answering summonses and paying fines was black or Latino. The QOL penalties, it seemed to me, were a backdoor tax for the city, and the people feeding that coffer overwhelmingly looked like me. Most stared ahead and mumbled agreements to the judge so they could leave. Some pleaded for leniency or extra time to pay, citing lack of income. Sixty dollars here, $200 there. These amounts would have momentarily inconvenienced Upper West Siders. In that courtroom, those figures were pushing people to tears.

Poor people bear the brunt of QOL fines. Not lower-income folks or working class types—no, the actual underclass, the groups balkanized into narrow living corridors in the city, offered slim opportunities, and suspended in a state of financial anxiety. Unless they are in front of a judge, they’re invisible to policymakers. But QOL fines can wreck them, and for what? Recently I lived with a roommate who worked as a housekeeper. He had a couple of small run-ins with the police for issues like noise and arguing with the neighbors, and the run-ins begat fines. He fell short on his bills, and things began to snowball. He borrowed from loan sharks, resorted to cheating friends out of money, borrowed money from family he never intended to pay back and, I suspect, shoplifted. My landlord later confirmed what I’d worried for a while: My roommate had skimmed money from our rent checks (including my share) for food and transportation. While I don’t believe QOL fines started him down his shady path, the summons only stoked his desperation. I doubt he’s the only one, as I doubt advocates of broken windows policing ever stop to ponder the next steps for people who draw fines and who are themselves broke.

Small penalties can precipitate risky acts when they are not, as a portion of one’s income, small. Here’s what New York charges people for various minor offenses:

• $25 for an open container of alcohol

• $115 for stopping or standing in a roadway or highway

• $115 for standing or parking on a curb when not allowed

• $250 for disorderly conduct

• $250 for a noise disturbance

Police get broad leeway in determining whether to cite you for such offenses. Take noise disturbances. Some are obvious: a bellowing car stereo, a party, hollering on the street. Or perhaps merely raising your voice to a police officer.

Sleeping or resting in public is another vague standard, used to clear away people who appear homeless or vagrant. Black men are frequently arrested or fined for falling asleep on the train, even if they’re simply tired on a long commute. Lewd conduct fines can arise simply from wearing your pants too low. If you are wearing a two-finger ring and happen to be black, you can be arrested for jewelry that reminds a cop of brass knuckles. QOL literally allows police to mete out punishment if they don’t like your look.

If none of these fit, the standby is disorderly conduct, the most malleable of the QOL fines. Disorderly conduct can include but is not limited to asking a question of an officercursing under your breath, or making people nervous. And if you continue in this so-called disorderly conduct, you could be charged with resisting arrest. As many people of color are aware by now, resisting arrest makes a handy explainer for injuries incurred by arrested and handcuffed individuals in police custody.

The Police Reform Organizing Project, a group that aims to end police abuses against vulnerable people in New York, has tallied some other recent crimes that led to arrests for people of color:

• Walking between the cars of a stopped subway train

• Occupying two seats on a mostly empty subway train

• Putting a foot on a subway seat

• Putting a backpack on a subway seat

• Using a loved one’s transit pass to enter the subway

• Asking another person to swipe their pass to get you onto the subway

• Asking people for a handout while holding open a door to an ATM

• Standing in front of or in the lobby of your own building

• Insisting on your rights when stopped and questioned for no apparent reason

• Filming/recording, while not interfering with a police activity

• Being a pedicab driver and parking in an unauthorized space or not properly displaying your rates

• Jaywalking

• Begging

• Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk

Now, QOL disparities do not include driving while black, civil forfeiture laws of confiscating property, stop-and-frisk, the illegal (but still used) vertical patrolling of housing projects or the treatment that people of color receive once they are in the judicial system. We are just talking about simple things. Like being able to stand on a street corner and be pretty sure a cop won’t start a conversation that ends with him fining you or locking you up.

Full article

New NYPD Anti-Terror Unit Will Get Machine Guns To Police Protesters | Gothamist

Murders reached a historic low in NYC for 2014; overall crime was down across the board by nearly 5%; hell, even the holiday slowdown didn’t really lead to any additional crime. So clearly, now is the time when NYC really needs to implement a new anti-terrorism program which would empower a team of NYPD officers to roam around the city carrying machine guns. What could gowrong?

Police Commissioner Bratton made the announcement earlier today at an event hosted by the Police Foundation at the Mandarin Oriental. He said that the new 350 cop unit, called The Strategic Response Group, will be dedicated to “disorder control and counterterrorism protection capabilities” against attacks like the hostage situation in Sydney, which the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller said was an inevitability in NYC.

This new squad will be used to investigate and combat terrorist plots, lone wolf terrorists, and… protests. “It is designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris,” Bratton said, according to CBS.

"They’ll be equipped and trained in ways that our normal patrol officers are not," Bratton explained. "They’ll be equipped with all the extra heavy protective gear, with the long rifles and machine guns — unfortunately sometimes necessary in these instances." Capital NY adds that these officers will also be used “to assist on crime scenes, and help with crowd control and other large-scale events.”

The pilot program will start in two precincts in Manhattan and two in Queens, though it’s unclear when they want to launch it. Bratton said Mayor de Blasio was on board, and he expected the City Council to be as well. He also said he thinks this will help improve relationships between cops and local residents. “Cops will know their sectors and the citizens will know them,” Bratton said. “They’ll know the problem areas and the problem people. I truly believe when cops embrace their neighborhoods, their neighborhoods will embrace them back.”

Already, local advocacy groups have spoken out against the plan; Priscilla Gonzalez, Organizing Director of Communities United for Police Reform, gave this statement.

Initial reports of Commissioner Bratton’s plans suggest the opposite of progress. His demands for less oversight of the NYPD and a more militarized police force that would use counter-terrorism tactics against protestors are deeply misguided and frankly offensive. We need an NYPD that is more accountable to New Yorkers and that stops criminalizing our communities, especially when people are taking to the streets to voice legitimate concerns about discriminatory and abusive policing. Despite growing evidence that discriminatory broken windows is a failed and harmful policing strategy, Commissioner Bratton stubbornly continues to defend and expand it.

(Photo Credit: NYPD Police Commissioner Bratton at yesterday’s press conference | Jen Chung/Gothamist)

No one will ever understand how much my father meant to me. I still can’t believe you passed away a month ago. What I would do to bring you back into my life just for 5mins just to tell you how much I love you. You did everything for me and its so easy to see that now. You did everything for the family. You never had a dad growing up really, he was never the dad you were at least. All the memories will live on forever. R.I.P Dad.