Tag Archives: New York City Police Department

5 Disturbing Revelations from the NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Trial About Aggressive, Racist Policing

Moorbey’z Blog

Original post: http://moorbey.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/5-disturbing-revelations-from-the-nypd-stop-and-frisk-trial-about-aggressive-racist-policing/

2013/04/19 · by 

The landmark class-action suit has revealed a lot about the NYPD, and it’s not pretty.
April 18, 2013  |

The city of New York is in the midst of a landmark class-action lawsuit. The suit, Floyd v. the City of New York, alleges that the NYPD has routinely violated the Constitution by stopping and searching black and Latino New Yorkers based on their skin color. Since Michael Bloomberg became mayor of New York City in 2002, stop-and-frisk increased by 600%, from 100,000 New Yorkers targeted to almost 685,000 in 2011. Nearly 90% of those stopped are black or Latino, and police are more likely to use force while stopping New Yorkers of color.

Grassroots community groups and national civil rights organizations have claimed for years that the NYPD’s aggressive tactics have inflicted too high a price on the “high-crime” areas affected. But the trial, expected to run well into May, has already presented some unbelievable revelations of police misconduct and abuse, with high-profile witnesses, including high-ranking NYPD officers, delivering gut-wrenching and shocking testimony. Here are five revelations from the trial.

1. Police are forced by their superiors to make up (illegal) quotas, encouraged to make bogus stops.

NYPD whistleblowers Pedro Serrano and Adhyl Polanco put their careers on the line when they secretly recorded supervisors demanding officers conduct a set amount of stops (five), summonses (20), and arrests (one) per month. Quotas for NYPD activity are illegal under New York labor law, but the city maintains that “performance standards” or “goals” that do not include punishments for officers who fail to meet them are perfectly legal. According to Polanco and Serrano, “performance standard” is just a euphemism for a quota forcing officers to meet numbers. Sometimes this requires them to break the law.

“We were handcuffing kids for no reason,” Polanco testified about the 41st Precinct in the Bronx. He said that supervisors questioning quantity “will never question the quality.” “They just want to make sure we have them. How we got them, they don’t really care about,” said Polanco.

In one of Polanco’s recordings, a supervisor says, “The goal is at least one arrest per month and 20 summons,” and an officer who fails to meet the quota may become a “Pizza Hut delivery man.”

“Things are not going to get any better. It is going to get a lot worse,” the supervisor says about numbers.

Polanco explained that superiors retaliated against officers who failed to meet or complained about quotas.

“They said, if we were willing to keep working with our partners, we better come up with the numbers; that if we want to ask for days off, we better come up with the numbers; that if we wanted overtime, the chiefs control the overtime, and that if we don’t do our numbers, we are not going to get it. We were told that it was non-negotiable, that they are going to force us to do it if we didn’t do it.”

“They can make your life very miserable,” he said.

2. NYPD cop admits to setting quotas.

Deputy Chief Michael Marino testified that when he became Commanding Officer of the 75th Precinct in 2002, he set “performance goals” or “standards” of 10 summonses and one arrest per month. When the judge asked, “So was there a performance goal of 10 summonses and one arrest?” Marino responded, “As per an administrative guide that was present at the time, I set the standards as was mandated to me by the police department, yes.”

Marino testified that upon entering the 75th Precinct, he learned that, “Surprisingly enough, the 400 or so officers assigned to patrol all saw exactly five summonses every month, no more, no less,” adding that “It told me that they had set their own quota.”

Marino testified that he did an analysis of crime conditions in the area and then, “I asked them to increase their summons production from five to 10. I asked them to try to make two good stops a month and to attempt to make one arrest a month.“

Still, he denied ever punishing officers solely for failing to meet his numbers.

3. Spinning evidence.

In 2007, the NYPD’s Office of Management Analysis and Planning (OMAP) commissioned a study by the RAND Corporation to determine whether the department’s stop-and-frisk tactic was driven by racial bias.

Given that close to 90% of police encounters involved non-whites, the report asked, “Do these statistics point to racial bias in police officers’ decisions to stop particular pedestrians? Do they indicate that officers are particularly intrusive when stopping nonwhites?”

In a summary of the report’s findings, RAND found, “small racial differences in these rates” based on which they made “communication, recordkeeping, and training recommendations to the NYPD for improving police-pedestrian interactions.”

That was the final report. But testimony at Thursday’s stop-and-frisk trial suggests that the NYPD pressured the reports’ authors to soften some of their original language. The project’s coordinator, Terry Riley, testified that in their contract the RAND Corporation agreed to take the NYPD’s concerns “into consideration.” The NYPD did indeed voice concerns about early drafts of the report, which plaintiffs say led to several alterations to the final product.

In the first draft, the report’s authors wrote of “disturbing evidence” that there was unequal treatment across race groups. After the NYPD objected to the language, that section was rewritten to say that there was “some evidence” of this. In another version of the report, they originally asked whether every stop that uncovered wrongdoing was worth stopping nine “innocent pedestrians.” The department apparently found the language offensive, and it was changed to “suspects who committed no crime.”

Darius Charney from the Center for Constitutional Rights,an attorney representing the plaintiffs, claims that the evidence they presented of emails complaining about these aspects of the report, and subsequent changes, show that the NYPD “clearly had a hand in spinning the results” even if they didn’t doctor the data.

4. Searching groins and socks…for guns?

Stop-and-frisk is supposed to get guns off the streets. Yet officers allegedly search areas where a gun cannot be reasonably hidden, and these searches are often the most invasive and humiliating.

There have been widespread allegations that NYPD frisks and searches go too far. As I recently reported, people have complained that police search their genital areas and buttocks for drugs, even though police are only allowed to search an area where they have observed a bulge and need to confirm it’s not a weapon.

A plaintiff in the case, 24-year-old Nicholas Peart, testified that, on two separate stops, officers searched him inappropriately. One day police demanded he and some relatives get down on the ground. He broke down when he described what happened next.

“They patted over my basketball shorts and I was touched,” he said, adding that they felt his groin.

In April 2011 Peart was on his way to pick up milk for his siblings. A police officer handcuffed him, removed his shoes and felt his socks, asking “if I had weed on me,” he said.

Queens College sociologist Harry Levine, an expert on stop-and-frisk, has linked the NYPD’s astonishing marijuana arrest rate to its use of stop-and-frisk. The NYPD arrests about 50,000 people annually for marijuana, the vast majority of them black or Latino and in the same neighborhoods where stop-and-frisk is prevalent. It’s telling that in 2012, after controversy surrounding stop-and-frisk heated up, both the policing tactic and marijuana arrests dropped by the same amount — 22% percent.

5) NY Senator: NYPD Commissioner told me stop-and-frisk is a fear tactic.

New York Senator Eric Adams (D-20th District) testified on April 1 that at a July 2010 meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo about a bill (which he co-sponsored) to ban a database of persons stopped but not charged, he raised his concern about the “disproportionate” number of young black and Latino men stopped by police, prompting the Commissioner to say the tactic is crucial for controversial reasons. “[Commissioner Kelly] stated that he targeted or focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them, every time they leave their home, they could be stopped by the police,” Adams testified.

“I told him that I believe it was illegal and that that was not what stop-and-frisk was supposed to be used for,” he testified, adding that Kelly responded by asking, “How else are we going to get rid of guns?”

Adams later told reporters he considered Kelly’s statement evidence that, “It was not the people on the ground,” provoking illegal stops but “a policy being blessed from the top down.”

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.
 

The Battle Continues

The preceding article spoke of recent revelations about policies of deliberate intimidation against African-Americans and Hispanics by the NYPD that have been coming out in a court case filed against that department. It is disturbing but telling.

I have no doubt that from what I have read over the years that this is policy in most police departments in any city where there are African-Americans and or Hispanic/Latino people in any numbers. I can remember back in the 70’s working in a Des Moines, IA Emergency Room and hearing the kinds of things the cops would  say about Blacks in the community. From what I read now about the arrests not much has changed in central Iowa.

White people are afraid of dark-skinned people. 

Once you get past our  swaggering we are very concerned they will hurt us because of all the Bull Shit we have been taught about them by the culture. They are violent, unpredictable, short-tempered, white haters blah blah blah. So what is the response? Well we must keep them under control and Stop and Frisk is one of the psychological warfare techniques that has been used.

It is warfare because white Americans have a tendency to declare a war on anything we fear or don’t understand. Consciously in some truly evil cases as here, and unconsciously in many of the rest of us. Most of us are unaware of our prejudices, and here I do mean those of us of any skintone. The enemy actually are a few individuals who through manipulation, theft, murder, genocide, and numerous other nefarious activities have brought about a separation of peoples.

By convincing us to fight one another, to distrust one another, to hate one another, they have effectively prevented us from “finding them out”. But the are BEING FOUND OUT! Through the Internet, through prayer, through revolution, through any number of means that the Creator is allowing they will and are being EXPOSED for what they are. Workers of iniquity and dealers in darkness. They are evil to the core and Daddy is going to deal with them SEVERELY.

This exposure is beginning in a case like this where it is evident that the tactics carried out by the NYPD were and are racist and deliberate attempts to rob individuals within the African-American and Hispanic communities of their Constitutional Rights. More importantly, it is evident to this writer and hopefully to others who are watching that this is about attempting to rob people of inalienable rights. Rights that all people everywhere are born with. 

The Right to travel free and unhindered without fear of harassment. The Right to freedom from search or seizure without warrant or strong suspicion of having committed a crime. These are rights that everyone has by reason of having been born into the world. They cannot and should not be subject to government control. So long as an individual is causing no one harm and there is no reason to suspect they have been involved in causing someone harm they should be left the hell alone.  

That, of course, is the whole point and has been all along. The minions (a servile dependent, follower, or underling) who are these Chiefs of Police, the Commissioner, even The President and other leaders of nations are merely puppets. While it is good they are being exposed we must remember they only serve. The path to those at the top will be paved with their poor souls. They will be mentally crushed as the plans of their masters continue to fail and they realize they chose the wrong side.

Lest one have too much compassion they did make a choice. Yahoveh always always gives people a choice even if the enemy causes them to feel as though they do not. Even death is preferable to serving the evil one. So…there is always a choice. Daddy wins folks.


The Myth of Homegrown Islamic Terrorism

Source: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2044047,00.html#ixzz1DmO5uDcc

By Romesh Ratnesar Monday, Jan. 24, 2011
New York City Police Department Counter Terrorism Unit officers patrol in Times Square on May 5, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images

There is a specter haunting the U.S. It is “one of the things that keeps me up at night,” Attorney General Eric Holder said last month. North Carolina Representative Sue Myrick, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, has warned President Obama that “there is no doubt” the problem has become “a global threat.” The incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, plans to convene hearings next month on the danger “that threatens the security of us all.”

In the wake of the Tucson, Ariz., tragedy, you might think that such high-profile alarm would center on the shortcomings of America’s mental-health system or the inadequacy of the country’s gun laws. You would be mistaken. Instead, some members of the political class remain fixated on what they regard as a greater national emergency: the purported rise of “homegrown” Islamic terrorists. They point to a string of examples of jihadist activity by U.S. citizens of Muslim faith: the Somali-born Portland, Ore., man who tried to detonate a dud car bomb planted by the FBI at a December tree-lighting ceremony; last summer’s failed Times Square bombing by a naturalized Pakistani; the 14 men charged last August with providing support to Islamist militants in Somalia.(See more about Portland’s Christmas-tree-bombing plot.)

And then there’s Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemen-based Internet imam late of Falls Church, Va., who intelligence officials say now acts as a regional commander for al-Qaeda, with the charge of recruiting impressionable American Muslims to take up arms against their country. In the eyes of some, al-Awlaki and his ilk represent the vanguard of an even more sinister trend: the growing “radicalization” of the estimated 5 million Muslims living in the U.S. “Radicalization is taking place inside America,” Myrick wrote in her letter to Obama. “The strikingly accelerated rate of American Muslims arrested for involvement in terrorist activities since May 2009 makes this fact self-evident.”

Actually, it doesn’t. Though acts of violent extremism by U.S. Muslims appear to have grown, their potency has not. American Muslims remain more moderate, diverse and integrated than the Muslim populations in any other Western society. Despite the efforts of al-Qaeda propagandists like al-Awlaki, the evidence of even modest sympathy for the enemy existing inside the U.S. is minuscule. The paranoia about homegrown terrorism thus vastly overstates al-Qaeda’s strength and reflects our leaders’ inability to make honest assessments about the true threats to America’s security.

Those who beat the drums about the homegrown terrorism threat often gloss over one salient fact: for all the publicity that surrounds cases of domestic jihad, not a single civilian has been killed by an Islamic terrorist on U.S. soil since Sept. 11. (The killing spree by Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 doesn’t fit the standard definition of terrorism: his motives were not wholly ideological, nor did he deliberately target civilians.) That’s due to a number of factors, including the military’s assault on al-Qaeda’s leadership, tougher homeland-security measures, smart policing and some degree of luck. But the fact that every homegrown terrorism plot has been foiled before it could be carried out also demonstrates the fecklessness of the terrorists themselves. In nearly every case — including that of Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, who came closest to succeeding — homegrown terrorists have been found to have acted almost entirely alone. There has been no vast conspiracy. Terrorist attacks may not require much money or ingenuity, but a lone wolf has little chance of pulling off the kind of mass-casualty strike that counterterrorism experts worry about most.(See more about the Broadway Bomber, Faisal Shahzad.)

Of course, violent individuals — from Hasan to Jared Loughner — are still capable of causing mayhem. But there’s no evidence that large numbers of American Muslims are inclined to do so. Though alarmists point to the alienation of young Muslims in Western Europe as a sign of things to come for the U.S., the likelihood of that happening there is remote. A Gallup survey conducted in 2009 found that American Muslims report vastly higher rates of life satisfaction than do their counterparts in other Western countries — and higher rates than the populations in every Muslim-majority country except one, Saudi Arabia. In the past 10 years, fewer than 200 people in the U.S. have been indicted on suspicion of jihadist activities. A comprehensive report by the Rand Corporation last year concluded that just one out of every 30,000 American Muslims could be said to have joined jihad, “suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence.”

So why does the myth of homegrown terrorism persist? In part because, like every hardy political meme, it serves the interests of loudmouths on both ends of the ideological spectrum. To the right, the threat of homegrown terrorism helps to perpetuate the notion of a ceaseless, civilization-wide struggle against Islamic extremism. To the left, the prospect of American Muslims taking up jihad fits with the idea that the U.S.’s foreign policy is creating a new generation of terrorists.(See photos of a jihadist’s journey.)

And yet al-Qaeda is weaker and less capable today than it was before Sept. 11; its appeal to mainstream Muslims around the world is shrinking, rather than increasing. The fact that Osama bin Laden wannabes like al-Awlaki have risen to such prominence is testament to the evisceration of al-Qaeda’s leadership. The U.S. faces far bigger and immediate challenges to the welfare and security of its citizens, not least from the ease with which unstable individuals can legally obtain and use deadly firearms. Addressing that danger will do more to protect Americans than obsessing about the phantom threat of homegrown terrorism ever will.

(Editorial Comment: While this author makes a number of salient points the one above in red is a boneheaded one. Guns Da Da Da Di Dumb! Sometimes I think that the anti-gun folks have some sort of vaccine related brain damage. While they no doubt suffer from some sort of brain damage it probably has to do with sniffing the rears of the anti-Constitution lobbyists in this country rather than a medical side effect. In Mr. Ratnesar’s case the greatest threat may be the ease with which unstable individuals are allowed to write articles that reference firearms. Addressing that danger will do more to protect Americans than obsessing about the phantom threat of the Constitutional Right To Bear Arms.)

Ratnesar, a TIME contributing editor-at-large, is a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of Tear Down This Wall: A City, a President, and the Speech That Ended the Cold War. His column on global affairs appears every Monday on TIME.com.

© 2011 Time Inc. All rights reserved


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