Ever wondered what it would look like if the cops were actively incentivized to misbehave?
Follow my words here carefully. In 2013, a federal judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, in a 193 page ruling, stated that New York’s horrendous “stop and frisk” police tactic was unconstitutional because it unfairly and disproportionately targeted “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” She did not rule that “stop and frisk” in and of itself is unconstitutional, but that the way New York was administering it, on the backs of people of color, was. The facts were undeniable, but the practice itself was not overruled.
A staggering 5 million incidents of stop and frisk took place in New York since 2002. Nearly 90% of those stops were of people who were found to be completely innocent. The overwhelming majority of stops, of course, were done against black and Latino residents of the city. When the practice was formally disbanded in New York City after Judge Scheindlin’s decision, it was seen as an enormous victory for police reforms. And it was, but something that is perhaps even more nefarious than stop and frisk unofficially rose up within the NYPD to take its place — a crisis of false arrests driven by an unwritten quota system being overseen by precincts across the city.
Just three days after Donald Trump was inaugurated, New York City agreed to something that is so scandalous, so huge, that only the incoming presidency of Donald Trump could’ve outshined it. New York City agreed to pay $75 million (that’s $75,000,000) out in a police corruption case that should’ve rocked the city and the nation to its core. They likely chose that date and time on purpose. The case had been in litigation for years and years, but the city chose one of the most fragile, news heavy times in the history of modern American media to drop an absolute bomb. The city admitted that it was forced to dismiss over 900,000 arrests and summonses because they simply didn’t have the evidence to back them. These weren’t 900,000 stops that were made, but 900,000 legal actions accusing people of crimes that they did not commit. They were all bogus. Not 9,000. Not 90,000 — which seems like an outrageous number, but 900,000. Not only that, but the case actually had its very own deleted email scandal, where every almost every single email Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly ever sent was deleted — never to be found again. Yeah, really.
Here’s the lawsuit:
Try not to explode when reading more here.
Marcus Ranum says
almost every single email Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly ever sent was deleted — never to be found again.
B-b-but: HILLARY CLINTON!!!!! BENGHAZI!!!!!!1!
Marcus Ranum says
I just have to follow up a bit: the “emails deleted” routine is so old and tiring. As someone who’s done digital forensic investigations on and off for 30 years, lemme tell you how that sort of thing goes down:
(investigator) “OK, where are the backup tapes?”
(them) oh shit. “Uh, we’ll look.”
(investigator) “Can I come with you while you look? Because I’ve noticed that tapes have a tendency to fail when they’re being recovered in an investigation.”
(investigator) “Of course I just correlate the system logs’ message sent/received records and the message-IDs and sequence numbers in all of the inboxes in the system, so I can produce a ‘heat map’ of where any losses occur and it’s really embarrassing if they happen surrounding just one account.”
Oh, the fun.
L. Minnik says
From the last interview on that page, from the PD: “l want a ghost town. l want to hear an echo from one end of the street to the other. That’s what l want.”
The racism is vicious, immensely destructive and done at the highest levels of the city government.
Tabby Lavalamp says
It’s amazing how many Americans don’t see the irony of arrest quotas in the “freest country in the world”.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea looks at the US and says, “Words have meaning, you know!”