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Mar 26 2013

NYPD Told to Target Young Black Men

There’s an important class action lawsuit going on in New York that challenges the NYPD’s stop and frisk program, which subjects almost 700,000 people a year to humiliating and unnecessary searches while walking the streets, almost all of them — 87% — black and Latino. And one police officer has a tape of his supervisor telling him to do exactly that, which was played at the trial.

A top Bronx cop was caught on tape telling an NYPD whistleblower to specifically target “male blacks 14 to 21” for stop-and-frisk because they commit crimes.

Stop “the right people, the right time, the right location,” Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack is heard saying on the recording.

“He meant blacks and Hispanics,” Officer Pedro Serrano, who made the secret recording, testified Thursday in Manhattan federal court.

“So what am I supposed to do: Stop every black and Hispanic?” Serrano was heard saying on the tape, which was recorded last month at the 40th Precinct in the Bronx.

McCormack said to focus on the Mott Haven section, where the problem “was robberies and grand larcenies.”

“I have no problem telling you this,” the inspector said on the tape. “Male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem [to] tell you this, male blacks 14 to 21.”

This can’t come as a surprise to anyone, of course, but it’s good to have it on tape so they can’t pretend they didn’t say it.

15 comments

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  1. 1
    The Lorax

    So then, I guess this is the last nail in the coffin for the stop ‘n frisk program, eh?

    *waits….*

  2. 2
    Alverant

    Oh they’ll pretend they didn’t say it just or that it’s taken out of context, just like all the other times.

  3. 3
    thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing?

    Black people. Adolescents. Sounds specifically like the people that society says are criminal. How suprising?

    *spits.*

  4. 4
    gog


    it seems that Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t want additional oversight of the NYPD, even though the abuses of civil liberties are numerous and obvious.

    In the article he talks about five district attorneys having the power to regulate the activities of the NYPD. If that’s true, then why the fuck don’t they do that?

    There’s a pretty good explanation. The DA’s are in league with the police. Convictions make it seem like crime is being taken care of.

  5. 5
    Modusoperandi

    Now, look, if he was wrong, because as you’ve said before “drug use is equally common across the races” and therefore they should not be concentrating on stopping and frisking so many more blacks than whites for drugs, then why do they catch so many more blacks than whites with drugs?

  6. 6
    sumdum

    They’ll just say he’s one rotten apple, and that it’s an exception or what not..

  7. 7
    Gregory in Seattle

    @sumdum #6 – An “exception” who will never be reprimanded, never be disciplined, never be punished.

  8. 8
    d.c.wilson

    FSM help the young black male who is caught with a Big Gulp by the NYPD.

  9. 9
    Ben P

    @sumdum #6 – An “exception” who will never be reprimanded, never be disciplined, never be punished.

    Oh, he’ll be “reprimanded.” They’ll put him on paid leave for a couple days while they investigate, decide that a reprimand is in order, then the police union will challenge it because no one else has been punished for saying similar things, two years after everyone’s forgotten about it, then the department will quietly drop the matter.

    Alternatively, they will take disciplinary action, but the officer will be allowed to resign beforehand, and will simply take a job across the river as a lieutenant there, at about the same pay-grade etc.

  10. 10
    Abby Normal

    almost all of them — 87% — black and Latino

    For reference, 53% of the population of NYC is black or hispanic.

  11. 11
    laurentweppe

    Black people. Adolescents. Sounds specifically like the people that society says are criminal. How suprising?

    Young people from the under class: imprint fear of the authorities in the janitor’s kids when their young, before they realize that they are smarter, more numerous, and stronger than the inept dynasts at the top.

  12. 12
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    So that “14 to 21″ quote means that he’s being told to check fourteen African-Americans for every twenty one Caucasian Americans he stops, right? Right?

  13. 13
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Or, I suspect, more likely wrong?

  14. 14
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @9. Ben P : That’s very cynical of you. Probably very right too mind you.

    @8. d.c.wilson : What’s a Big Gulp? (Puzzled)

    @10. Abby Normal : Thanks for that extra info. putting it in context.

  15. 15
    baal

    @14 – big gulp is a 32 oz soft drink size sold by 7-11.

    NYC, promulgating structural racism at its finest. Unless and until this type of biased enforcement stops, it’s extremely difficult to have reasonable social mobility instead of a permanent racially defined underclass. Why do these cops hate the American Dream?

  1. 16
    Yeah, I’ve smoked weed (and haven’t gotten in trouble ‘cuz I’m white)

    [...] I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile, but put it off largely due to being in Asia, much of which makes the US look like the Netherlands with respect to drug policy. What finally made me feel like I had to write this post was this story via Ed Brayton: [...]

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