Our primaries are tomorrow, and it is imperative that everyone eligible to vote in Manhattan casts a vote. As we prepare to vote, we are outraged by fresh evidence of NYPD enforcement of quotas for its officers.
Stop and Frisk Record Driven By Quotas
We have examined the grotesque record of Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly with regard to stop-and-frisk activity in our city. These recent years have resulted in record numbers of stop-and-frisks despite the ugly racial realities of those stop and frisks. Approximately 90% of those stop-and-frisks involve stopping people of color, and approximately 90% of those stopped are found to be entirely innocent. When White New Yorkers are stopped, they are twice as likley to be carrying illegal weapons or illegal drugs as the people of color that are stopped, yet the NYPD continues to concentrate its stops amongst people of color. Further, the NYPD's excuse for the stops is nearly always that the subject of the stop was acting in a suspicious manner.
When Governor Paterson was poised to outlaw the use of a database of the innocent victims of the Mayor's stop-and-frisk abuse, Commissioner Kelly stated that he needed to have a record of the movements of innocent people of color in NYC in order to solve the crimes that those people of color commit. Any decent Mayor would have fired the police commissioner for such a statement, but Mayor Bloomberg has continued to support Ray Kelly. Governor Paterson chose to use his common sense rather than follow the lead of Ray Kelly. The use of the database is now outlawed.
More recently, we have ample evidence that the NYPD is threatening its own police officers with punishment if they don't abuse enough people of color by stoping them and frisking them for "reasonable suspicion" of criminal activity.
Smoking Gun - Secret Recording
Secret recordings from a precinct in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn reveal that the NYPD does indeed use quotas to drive officer behavior. Quotas for police results are illegal under New York State law, the NYPD utilizes them nonetheless.
In a disgusting response that reminds us of the Ray Kelly response to Governor Paterson, the NYPD spokesman has stated that the recordings of the threats against officers who don't abuse people of color in NYC enough to satisfy their superiors are evidence of "good management" at the NYPD.
The racism and abuse of power represented on the tapes should outrage all of us, and the NYPD defense of their illegal quota practices reminds us that we need new leadership at the NYPD.