AN ONLINE LIBRARY ABOUT MARIJUANA POSSESSION ARRESTS,
RACE AND POLICE POLICY IN NEW YORK CITY AND BEYOND
Race and Marijuana Arrests, USA
• U.S. MARIJUANA ARRESTS 1965-2010
AND MORE QUOTAS
The New York Police Department has denied for many years that its precinct commanders require police officers to meet quotas for arrests, tickets, and stop and frisks. Yet over the years countless police officers have described the quota system in sworn testimony in trials, depositions and hearings, and also to reporters. There is no doubt the NYPD has quotas for stop and frisks, for arrests, especially for misdemenaor arrests, and for summonses. The ticket or summons quotas include both traffic (automobile) summoneses and the 600,000 criminal court summonses written every year for offenses such as being on a park bench after hours, disorderly conduct, having an open beer can (usually in a paper bag) and riding or even straddling a bicycle on the sidewalk.
photo: Village Voice
Reporters from the New York Daily News and the New York Times have written many stories over the years reporting on the quota system, how it works, the various quotas assigned by commanders, and the continual statements by high-ranking NYPD spokemen flatly denying that this is going.
It is important to understand that quotas drive the stop and frisks which, in turn, produce most of the marijuana possession and other petty misdemeanor arrests, and also many (or most) of the 600,000 criminal court summonses written each year.
Below are excerpts from news stories describing the NYPD's quota system. Links for each story are shown. The journalism reports are arranged in chronological order, starting in 2000 and continuing into 2012 showing over a decade of articles documenting the NYPD's stop and frisk, arrest and ticket quotas. Very recent stories are at the bottom.
2000 − 2009
"Condor Concern: Focus On Quotas" by Michele Mcphee and John Marzulli, New York Daily News, March 26, 2000
A massive NYPD drug operation linked to the Patrick Dorismond shooting has resulted in 11,293 arrests − but is getting little respect from the thousands of cops paid overtime to enforce it. Daily News interviews with cops participating in Operation Condor show that many feel the arrests − overwhelmingly for misdemeanors − are doing little to make the streets safer, although they acknowledge being pleased with the extra cash. Cops expressed a wide range of concerns − from pressure to make busts to a lack of follow-through for bigger investigations.... But many cops interviewed by The News said they feel Operation Condor is too focused on making a lot of arrests quickly, even if the arrests are for minor offenses... One cop said. "But if we don't make the arrest numbers, we get our heads blown off by the bosses at the end of the month. There is this unspoken quota we all have to meet."
"The Legislature; Ticket Quotas Banned" by Anne Ruderman, New York Times, December 10, 2000
A bill that would prevent the use of traffic-ticket quotas as a criterion for evaluating a police officer's performance passed the state Senate in a unanimous vote last week. The bill would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using requirements of numbers of arrests or citations to promote or demote police officers.
"Pataki Summons A Veto On Tix-Writing Quota Ban" by Joe Mahoney, New York Daily News, August 21 2003
ALBANY − Gov. Pataki vetoed a bill yesterday that would have made it illegal for police departments to impose ticket-writing and arrest quotas on cops. Pataki said he didn't like the quotas, but sympathized with the city's argument that brass needs some way to measure performance. "Unfortunately, it is difficult to draft legislation that draws a bright line between impermissible quotas and the legitimate consideration of performance measures," Pataki said in killing the bill passed by both houses of the Legislature this spring.
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told the Daily News last night he didn't buy Pataki's logic, contending the department can evaluate cops' performance without quotas. "The [NYPD] says there are no quotas − so why have they fought this law so vehemently? " he said. "The citizens of the city and the officers know it's real, and it has to be corrected. It's killing morale."
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has adamantly denied charges by critics that the Bloomberg administration is pressuring cops to produce more revenue for the cash-strapped city by writing more summonses. Though lawmakers chose to override Pataki this year on a raft of budget-related issues, it's unlikely that will happen on the quota bill because the Assembly is not scheduled to return to Albany until January.
"NYPD Denies Quotas For Traffic Tickets" by Frank Lombardi, New York Daily News, Tuesday, June 28 2005
Traffic Enforcement agents don't have ticket-writing quotas − they have "productivity" goals, police officials insisted yesterday. "The number of parking summonses which has been issued is certainly part of the overall assessment of their productivity," Assistant Commissioner Susan Petito said yesterday at a City Council transportation hearing. Last year, the NYPD's 1,100 agents issued 5.4 million tickets [including traffic tickets], carrying fines of about $500 million. At the Transportation Committee hearing, police officials repeatedly sparred with skeptical Council members over whether quotas exist.
"Police in Brooklyn Used Illegal Ticket Quotas, Arbitrator Decides" by Kareem Fahim, New York Times January 20, 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/20/nyregion/20police.html
The New York Police Department violated state labor law by setting traffic summons quotas in a Brooklyn precinct and then penalizing officers who failed to meet them, an arbitrator has found.
The ruling by the arbitrator, Bonnie Siber Weinstock, found that the commander of the 75th Precinct, which includes East New York, imposed monthly, quarterly and annual traffic summons quotas on police officers. At least one officer who had a distinguished arrest record was given low performance evaluations solely for failing to write enough traffic tickets, Ms. Weinstock wrote.... Union officials have long said that a quota system existed, and that officers who failed to meet the goals faced transfer, loss of overtime, or unfavorable evaluations.
In the 75th Precinct, the union accused the Police Department of setting quotas for parking tickets, moving violations, "quality of life" summonses (for offenses like turnstile jumping) and arrests, according to the arbitrator's report. "Such quotas put the cops under pressure to write summonses when the violations don't exist," said Al O'Leary, a spokesman for the union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. "It takes discretion away from the police officer."
The Police Department said that commanders can set "productivity goals" but not specific quotas. Paul J. Browne, the department's chief spokesman, said that the arbitrator's involvement began with the transfer or reassignment of 13 officers in the 75th Precinct because of overall poor performance....
The arbitrator tried to settle the question, saying that the 75th Precinct did have a quota system, citing evidence including a directive from the commander, Deputy Chief Michael Marino, that tied performance evaluations to numbers of summonses and arrests. She said that one officer, David Velez, who was singled out by at least one of his supervisors for his high number of felony arrests, was nonetheless given low marks on performance evaluations for not writing traffic and "quality of life" summonses, the arbitrator found. Officers with low marks on evaluations are unlikely to be selected for specialized units or details, and therefore, poor evaluations should be considered penalties, a violation of the state's labor law, she wrote.
"Not An Iota Of A Quota" by Robert F. Moore David and Saltonstall, New York Daily News, January 21 2006
If it looks like a quota and acts like a quota, then it must be a . . . "performance standard."
So says Mayor Bloomberg, who insisted yesterday that the city does not impose ticket-writing quotas on its cops − just "performance standards" -- despite a contrary ruling by a city arbitrator this week. "There are not ticket quotas, but there are performance standards," said Bloomberg on his weekly radio show. Bloomberg's careful phrasing came a day after city arbitrator Bonnie Siber Weinstock found that 75th Precinct brass in Brooklyn forced cops to meet monthly ticket quotas. Internal memos showed that cops in the East New York precinct were expected to write four parking tickets, three moving violations, three quality-of-life summonses and two stop-and-frisks every month − or face "poor annual evaluations" from their bosses
"Cops: We Spy In Subways To Meet Tix Quotas" by Robert F. Moore, New York Daily News, May 8 2006
Disgruntled cops [have said] that their commanding officer has imposed an illegal ticket-writing quota. In a recent directive to cops in Transit District 11, NYPD Capt. Johnny Cardona admonished some officers for not writing enough tickets and told them they would not get overtime money unless they handed out more summonses. "We had a few personnel in certain squads that did not perform to standard," Cardona wrote in the April 18 memo obtained by The News. "So, effective immediately, those individuals will not be authorized programmatic overtime."
Cardona said he would evaluate the cops and possibly change their assignments if they haven't written more tickets by the time he returns from military leave later this month. "I have been extremely patient about this and quite frankly, I am fed up," he wrote. "I am a fair person and will not tolerate anyone getting over while everyone else is pulling their load. I will see you about this soon!
"The memo does not mention a numerical goal − a key omission that would seem to shield Cardona from charges of imposing an illegal quota. NYPD brass supported his actions. "A good manager makes sure everyone pulls their weight. He doesn't let a few idlers escape their duty at the expense of the majority of active police officers," said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne. "The captain addressed substandard performance by a few, and praised outstanding work by the rest. That's not quotas. That's leadership."
But a police source said Cardona has ordered that every transit cop write 12 summonses per month − drawing the ire of the city's largest police union. "Management can call them whatever they want, but when punitive action follows a failure to write a target number of summonses, then it is an illegal quota," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. "Quotas are bad because they can interfere with our ability to fight serious crime and make for poor police-community relations.
"In January, a city arbitrator ruled that the NYPD had an illegal ticket-quota system in the 75th Precinct in East New York, Brooklyn. PBA officials have argued that police supervisors have imposed quotas in some fashion all across the city − charges that NYPD brass have strongly denied. However, a cop assigned to Transit District 11 said officers in subways hide out in unmarked transit offices, janitor closets and bathrooms − peering out doors and windows to catch turnstile jumpers and other scofflaws. "I've done it myself," the cop said. "It's pretty easy. Nine out of 10 of them don't run."
"NYPD Captain Allegedly Caught In Arrest Quota Fixing" by Alison Gendar, Daily News Police Bureau Chief, Wednesday, November 14, 2007
An NYPD captain was allegedly caught on tape ordering cops to meet arrest quotas and falsify crime reports, the Daily News has learned.
Kieran Creighton, commander of the NYPD Housing Police Service Area 8 in the northern Bronx, is under investigation for a tirade that went out over the police radio, sources said, [when Creighton berated]... eight members of an undercover anti-crime team....
"You can't make the nine collars a month, then we'll all have to go our separate ways," Creighton told the officers, according to an internal complaint obtained by The News. Anything less than nine arrests would be a "personal slap in the face," Creighton allegedly said. Creighton then told the cops to "finagle" the times of arrests so any overtime was paid for by a federally funded anti-drug program, the complaint alleges.
Unbeknownst to Creighton, one officer had his NYPD radio switched on − so the captain's 10 to 12 minute speech was broadcast to Bronx precincts in Morrisania and Schuylerville and taped by a 911 dispatcher. "Your entire conversation with the C.O. [commanding officer] just got broadcast over the radio," came a frantic call from the PSA desk officer to one of the cops attending the May 15, 2007, meeting in the park, according to the complaint.....
The allegations stemming from the meeting were among a laundry list of complaints filed against Creighton by his subordinates. At least one sergeant complained that Creighton was trying to suppress the number of felony crimes reported by having supervisors re-interview victims, the complaint alleges. The goal was to turn felony complaints into misdemeanors, sources said.
Creighton repeatedly told subordinates that it was his "job to keep crime down." "The captain would say, 'Are you sure the victim was really assaulted? Maybe the victim got cut with a fingernail, not a knife.' Once is a joke. Over and over is a pattern," a police source said.
"Immigration Raids For Quotas, Not A Solution" New York Daily News, February 8 2009
An ICE memo from early 2004 required no less than 75% of fugitive operations targets be classified as "criminal aliens." That changed in 2006, when the fugitive operation teams' annual quotas were increased, from 125 to 1,000 arrests per year. "For the first time, the teams were allowed to count any arrest − not just those of fugitives and criminals − toward their totals," Markowitz said. Yet despite ICE's denials, it is now clear that the raids were a way of meeting a quota even if ... hardworking immigrant communities were cruelly and needlessly victimized.
"The NYPD Tapes: Quotas and Victim Intimidation? Of Course, Says Another NYPD Veteran" By Graham Rayman, Village Voice, Friday, May. 7 2010
Marquez Claxton spent 20 years as a police officer and a detective in the NYPD, most recently in Williamsburg's 90th Precinct. He retired as a detective second grade. He worked in narcotics as an undercover, in vice, in domestic violence, and was involved in the investigation of thousands of cases.
"Quotas have always been a part of the Police Department for as long as I was a member.... What makes it worse is now there are quotas on everything." The CompStat model means numbers alone gauge the success of crime fighting. "It's like factory work," he says. "The difficulty is that you can't quantify prevention. There is no number which says I stopped seven burglaries today. People have made careers out of summonses and arrests, but that's not even the main component of police work. "A lot of cops come on the job to have relationships with the community, to be public servants," he says. "But in today's PD, the officers are ostracized unless they have their numbers. You're punishing officers who say their job is not to be the hammer."
"A Few Blocks, 4 Years, 52,000 Police Stops" by Ray Rivera, Al Baker and Janet Roberts, July 12, 2010
The Times, for this article, interviewed 12 current or former officers who had worked in this part of Brooklyn in the last five years, and all defended the necessity of the stop-and-frisks. But some former officers who worked the area say the stops seem less geared to bringing down crime than feeding the department’s appetite for numbers — a charge police officials steadfastly deny. Though none said they were ever given quotas to hit, all but two said that certain performance measures were implicitly expected in their monthly activity reports. Lots of stop-and-frisk reports suggested a vigilant officer.
“When I was there the floor number was 10 a month,” one officer said. Like many of the officers interviewed for this article, he asked not to be identified because he was still in law enforcement and worried that being seen as critical of the New York department could hurt his future employment opportunities. He said if you produced 10 stops — known as a UF-250 for the standardized departmental reports the stops generate — you were not likely to draw the attention of a supervisor. “And in all fairness,” he said, “if you’re working in that area, 10 a month is very low. All you have to do is open your eyes.”
Another former officer who worked in the 73rd Precinct said the pressure was felt more overtly to get an arrest or a criminal summons, but in lieu of those, extra 250s would compensate. “A lot of us didn’t want to bang everyone,” the officer said. “These people have a hard enough time in the situation they’re living in without making it worse by hitting them with a summons, having them travel to Manhattan for criminal court, and the bosses would get upset and say, ‘Well, give us some UF-250s.’ It’s an easy number.”
While each 250 is required to be approved and signed by a supervisor, one former housing officer said getting them was easy: “Just go to the well.” The well, said this officer, is the lobby of any of the many housing buildings. Ryan Sheridan, one of the former officers who said he had never heard supervisors emphasize numbers, nonetheless acknowledged that the lobby and hallways were a legitimate source of 250s. “Once they walk into the building, every UF-250 can come from a do-not-enter, meaning entering without a key,” he said. “But once you ask them for an ID, 90 percent of the people live in the building. That’s why the arrest rate is so low. They’re not acting suspiciously, but like I said, they don’t have a key to enter.” Deputy Inspector Holmes said she never emphasized numbers and scoffed at the notion that her officers were using broken locks to initiate 250s.
"An army of officers patrol a Brooklyn neighborhood nightly, stopping and questioning residents."
- NY Times, July 12, 2010
Photo: Robert Stolarik for The
New York Times
"Law Enforcement Or Reaching Quotas? Stats Show NYPD Focusing On Pot Possession, Boozing In Public" by Rocco Parascandola, New York Daily News, July 23 2010
Pot possession and boozing in public are
the top reasons New Yorkers get arrested or ticketed by the cops, new
statistics show.... Critics say the high numbers for weed, beer and other
offenses like riding bikes on sidewalks smacks of quotas − or
harassment in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
"Secret Tape Has Police Pressing Ticket Quotas" by Al Baker And Ray Rivera, New York Times, September 9, 2010
No matter how often the Police Department denies the existence of quotas, many New Yorkers will swear that officers are sometimes forced to write a certain number of tickets in a certain amount of time. Now, in a secret recording made in a police station in Brooklyn, there is persuasive evidence of the existence of quotas. The hour long recording, which a lawyer provided this week to The New York Times, was made by a police supervisor during a meeting in April of supervisors from the 81st Precinct. The recording makes clear that precinct leaders were focused on raising the number of summonses issued – even as the Police Department had already begun an inquiry into whether crime statistics in that precinct were being manipulated. The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, did not respond Thursday to three e-mails and three phone calls requesting comments on the tape. He was sent extensive excerpts from the recording.
On the tape, a police captain, Alex Perez, can be heard warning his top commanders that their officers must start writing more summonses or face consequences. Captain Perez offered a precise number and suggested a method. He said that officers on a particular shift should write — as a group — 20 summonses a week: five each for double-parking, parking at a bus stop, driving without a seat belt and driving while using a cellphone.“You, as bosses, have to demand this and have to count it,” Captain Perez said, citing pressure from top police officials. At another point, Captain Perez emphasized his willingness to punish officers who do not meet the targets, saying, “I really don’t have a problem firing people.”
The recording is the latest in a series of audiotapes from the precinct that have raised concerns among community leaders and residents of the neighborhoods it covers, Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant. Those Brooklyn residents contend that the tapes show a department fixated on the number of summonses and low-level arrests, and that the result is a pattern of harassment. Critics say this is the flip side of CompStat, the Police Department analysis system that has been credited with bringing down major crimes but faulted as creating a numbers-driven culture. Police officials have long denied the existence of a quota system, but they add that they do have “performance goals” they expect officers to meet. A previous set of recordings of station-house roll calls was made in 2008 and 2009 by Patrol Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, who has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming retaliation after he reported accusations to the Internal Affairs Bureau. Officer Schoolcraft accused supervisors in the precinct of manipulating crime statistics and enforcing ticket and arrest quotas, which are a violation of state labor law. The accusations are at the center of a broad internal investigation of how the precinct recorded crime statistics. Amid the inquiry, Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello, who had been the commander at the 81st Precinct, was transferred in July to a transit district in the Bronx.
The latest recording was made on April 1, as the internal inquiry was under way, and after some of Officer Schoolcraft’s allegations had become public in The Daily News and The New York Post. Inspector Mauriello invoked Officer Schoolcraft’s name at the April 1 meeting, as he warned precinct leaders about “rats coming out of here wearing tape recorders.” The person who made the recording gave it this week to Officer Schoolcraft’s lawyer, Jon L. Norinsberg, in an effort to show that Officer Schoolcraft, who has been suspended from the force, was not alone. “He wanted to do anything in his power to support Schoolcraft, and I think this is his way of corroborating Schoolcraft’s allegations,” said Mr. Norinsberg, who said the new recordings would be used as evidence in his case. “It is evidence the quota system is ongoing. Subsequent to the public revelations that have taken place, it’s business as usual in the N.Y.P.D.”
At one point in the new tapes, Inspector Mauriello introduced Captain Perez, who the supervisor said was second in command, as someone who “wants his summonses.”“They’re counting seat belts and cell phones; they’re counting double parkers and bus stops,” Captain Perez said, referring to types of low-level summonses typically tracked by the department’s TrafficStat program. “If day tours contributed with five seat belts and five cell phones a week, five double-parkers and five bus stops a week, O.K." “Your goal is five in each of these categories, not a difficult task to accomplish on Monday,” he added. “If it’s not accomplished by Monday, you’ve got to follow up with it on Tuesday. But there’s no reason it can’t be done by Thursday. So whatever I get by Friday, Saturday, Sunday is gravy. I’m not looking to break records here, but there is no reason we should be losing this number by 30 a week.”
"Police commanders of the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn said each officer on day tour should write at least 20 summonses a week."
- NY Times, Sept 9, 2010
Photo: Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
"No Ticket Quotas? A Tape Suggests Otherwise" by Andy Newman, New York Times Blog, September 10, 2010
Officially and forever, the position of the New York Police Department has been that there is no such thing as quotas... Any driver who complains of receiving a summons only because officers are forced to write a certain number of tickets per day or week or month is simply trying to shift blame.
But evidence of the existence of quotas is mounting. In an hour long recording made at an April meeting at the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, a captain instructs top commanders that each officer on a day tour should write 20 summonses a week: five each for double-parking, parking at a bus stop, driving without a seat belt and driving while using a cellphone.
“You, as bosses, have to demand this and have to count it,” the captain, Alex Perez, says on the tape.
"Police Deny Tape Describes Ticket Quotas" by Al Baker, New York Times, September 10, 2010
In his first response to questions about the recording, which a lawyer this week provided to The New York Times, Mr. Browne said the numbers of summonses discussed on the tape, “small though they are,” did not apply to individual officers.
On the tape, a police captain, Alex Perez, is heard saying at the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, that “day tours” of officers —all officers working a particular daytime shift — should write 20 summonses a week: 5 each for double-parking, parking at a bus stop, driving without a seat belt and driving while using a cellphone.“You, as bosses, have to demand this and have to count it,” Captain Perez said. The captain also made clear to supervisors that he would review summonses and that nonproductive officers would face transfers to less family-friendly shifts or even dismissal.
On Aug. 30, Gov. David A. Paterson expanded the state’s anti-quota statute by outlawing them for tickets, summonses, arrests and stop, question-and-frisk encounters. The law prohibits using quotas as a consideration for punishment. Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, who fought for the law, said of the recordings: “To my ears, it sounds like a quota.”
Mr. Lynch said the new law “defines the practice as requiring a specific number of police actions within a prescribed period.” “What separates a managerial target from an illegal quota,” he said, “is the punitive action for failure to achieve the number.”
State Senator Eric L. Adams, a retired police captain who sponsored the bill, said police agencies could not circumvent the law by arguing that minimum numbers apply to entities as opposed to individual officers. “If you want 100 summonses per month, at a precinct, that attached number is eventually dwindled down to an individual,” Mr. Adams said. He said quotas robbed officers of their “most powerful tool” — discretion.
"Brooklyn NYPD Supervisor Caught On Tape Demanding Cops To Meet Quota" by Rocco Parascandola Daily News, October 9 2010
A supervisor in a Brooklyn precinct was caught on tape vowing to go after officers with "ruthless aggression" if they didn't make at least one arrest a month. But the most startling of the hundreds of hours of secret recordings was a tape showing just how aggressive the bosses could get. One reveals a showdown between a cop who accused supervisors of cooking crime stats and one of the top cops in Brooklyn.
"They're going to treat you as an EDP (emotionally disturbed person)," Deputy Chief Michael Marino warned as he and other cops came to Officer Adrian Schoolcraft's home in Queens. "That means handcuffs. I don't want to see that happen to a cop."
The NYPD has adamantly denied having quotas. It has said cops are expected to meet productivity goals. Sources said one arrest a month is not unreasonable in busy precincts, such as the 81st, but that patrol cops will often spend entire shifts rushing from one 911 emergency to another without making an arrest.
State law also prohibits police from using quotas − defined as a set number of arrests or summonses in a specific time frame.
In a May 27, 2009, recording, a supervisor is heard pressuring cops about arrests."I'm going to make sure you have an arrest a month and I'm going to do it with ruthless aggression," he said. "You know me well enough now. You know how I work."
Police officer Adrian Schoolcraft who tape recorded police supervisors demanding and enforcing extensive arrest, ticket and stop and frisk quotas in Brooklyn.
"Cops At Brooklyn's Crime-Ridden 77th Precinct Told To Meet Quotas For Moving Violations, Memos Say" by James Fanelli, Daily News Staff Writer, November 8, 2010
The NYPD says there's no such thing as a ticket quota, but memos posted at a Brooklyn stationhouse say otherwise. Two notices obtained by the Daily News clearly spell out how many moving-violation summonses cops should be handing out. The memos were posted in a roll call room for the stationhouse of the crime-ridden 77th Precinct, which covers Crown Heights and Prospect Heights.
The one for the week of April 5 to April 11 began, "Good day we need the following" − then gave the number of tickets to give drivers for cell phone, seat belt, double-parking, bus stop, tinted window and truck route violations. The notice instructed officers to hand out the summonses at accident-prone locations and specified five intersections.
A memo for Oct. 18 to Oct. 24 also itemized the number of summonses in the six moving-violation categories. For example, it said the precinct needed to tally 75 summonses for talking on a cell phone while driving, and 50 seat belt violations. A source said similar memos for other time periods were also posted.
When The News inquired about the memos last week, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said an officer had posted them without approval. "If it were an authorized posting, it would indicate by the authority of the commanding officer," Browne said. "This was neither authorized nor compelled." He added that it was unknown why the memos were posted but that the officer was instructed to stop.
Despite the lack of authorization, the notices stayed up for weeks in the roll call room − where officers get orders from supervisors before going on duty, a source said. Police union spokesman Al O'Leary said it would be surprising for an officer to post the memos without consent from above. "There is no reason for one of our members to put up something like this," he said.
Quotas became a hot-button issue earlier this year after whistleblower cop Adrian Schoolcraft recorded a supervisor in the 81st Precinct vowing to go after officers who don't make at least one arrest a month. State law prohibits police from using quotas − or setting a target number for arrests or summonses during a specific time frame.
The NYPD has denied the practice for years. Browne said the department "does not impose quotas but it has productivity goals related to actual conditions in a given command." Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said his union has long battled the use of quotas. "Quotas are bad for the community because they take away an officer's discretion, which is so important to building a relationship with the neighborhood they patrol," he said. "The PBA has successfully taken action against management for illegal quotas and we will continue to do so when solid evidence surfaces."
"NYPD Will Probe Brooklyn Precinct Ticket Quota Lists, Bloomberg Says" by Rocco Parascandola and Adam Lisberg, Daily News, November 9 2010
The NYPD will launch a probe into memos at a Brooklyn stationhouse that appeared to set quotas for traffic summonses, Mayor Bloomberg said Monday. The move comes after the Daily News reported that at least two notices posted at the 77th Precinct stationhouse spelled out the number of tickets needed in a specific time frame. That's illegal under state law − and runs counter to the Police Department's public no-quotas stance.
The NYPD said an officer posted the memos without authorization. A police source said they were put up inside the roll call room by a highway safety officer. Bloomberg promised an investigation. "Commissioner Kelly will look at it," Bloomberg said, calling the postings an aberration. "We don't have quotas," he said, "but we certainly have performance management." The NYPD had no comment.
Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, the whistleblower cop from Brooklyn's 81st Precinct, has accused his supervisors of imposing quotas, and cops in two Bronx precincts have made similar allegations in recent months.
In 2006, an arbitrator ruled that the NYPD violated state labor law by using traffic summons quotas in the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn, punishing cops who didn't meet them. The arbitrator cited a directive from the commander at the time, Deputy Chief Michael Marino, that linked performance evaluations to summons and arrest numbers.
"NYPD Undercover Cop Accused Of Bogus Arrests" by Adolph Osback, ABC Local, Thursday, December 02, 2010
Lawyer quoted in story talking at length about quotas and pressure to perform
"Irate Cops At 79th Precinct In Bedford-Stuyvesant Threaten Boycott Over Quotas" by Rocco Parascandola, Daily News Police Bureau Chief, December 12th 2010,
Tensions over tickets have reached a boiling point at a Brooklyn precinct where officers are considering a day-long summons boycott. "We've talked about it," said one police source familiar with the possible slowdown in the 79th Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant. "Nobody feels this is right, asking us to write summonses just to meet a quota." A second source said that about six weeks ago, some officers did not write summonses for one shift to protest shift changes targeted at low-performing cops....
Cops at the precinct, like those in other commands, insist their supervisors impose quotas, which are illegal, to churn out revenue for the city and impress higher-ups....
Two recent internal papers from the precinct obtained by the Daily News illustrate the clash between cops and brass. Deputy Inspector Peter Bartoszek, the precinct's commanding officer, recently complained in a note to a sergeant about three cops on the midnight shift. "In 4 months and after 70 tours on patrol, P.O. Denis has not written any C summons?" Bartoszek wrote about one of the officers. "How is that possible?"
Officer Jeanmarc Denis said he was well aware of the note. "I guess he's feeling the pressure from Compstat," he said. "He feels the pressure and it goes down" to the officers. Denis would not comment on the number of summons he has written. Bartoszek didn't respond to requests for comment. The NYPD has denied using quotas and said Bartoszek was doing his job.
"Deputy Chief Michael Marino Threatens Cops At 79th Precinct Who Want To Go On Summons Strike" By Rocco Parascandola, Daily News, December 15 2010
A top NYPD supervisor drew a line in the sand, daring Brooklyn cops to carry out a threat to stop writing summonses for a day, police sources said Tuesday.
The Daily News reported Sunday that officers assigned to the 79th Precinct were so angry over alleged ticket quotas that they talked about not writing summonses for 24 hours in protest. The sources said Deputy Chief Michael Marino marched into the Bedford-Stuyvesant precinct at roll call Monday with a deputy inspector and read cops the riot act. Just try it," a police source quoted Marino as saying. "I'll come down here and make sure you write them." Another source said Marino vowed to transfer people, like he did when he was the commanding officer of the 75th Precinct in East New York.
In 2006, an arbitrator ruled that Marino broke state labor laws by punishing cops who did not meet ticket and arrest quotas. "A lot of guys were really [angry] by the time he left," said a 79th Precinct police source, referring to the Monday tirade. "The younger guys, they're scared. They'll listen. The older guys are not going to stand for this." Marino − second in command in Brooklyn North − didn't respond to requests for comment.
Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said Marino never threatened anyone with a transfer. Instead, he came to roll call to remind officers that issuing summonses was about "protecting people, not numbers." The 31-year NYPD vet was named in a $50 million lawsuit filed by Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, who accused cops of forcing him into a psych ward for blowing the whistle on quotas in the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn. Audio tapes showed that Marino was one of the cops who pulled Schoolcraft from his Queens home.
"A Quota by Any Other Name" by Al Baker And Liz Robbins, New York Times Blog, "January 13, 2011
On Aug. 30, Gov. David A. Paterson took direct aim at the policing powers in New York City, expanding the state’s anti-quota statute by outlawing them for tickets, summonses, arrests and stop-question-and-frisk encounters. The measure prohibited using quotas as a consideration for punishment.
Concerns rippled through the New York Police Department, and on Oct. 22 its chief of patrol, James P. Hall, sent a memo to all borough commanders instructing them to review the new law with all supervisors. The memo [see also below] pointed out that supervisors, as part of their anticrime efforts, had said things “that could be interpreted as the setting of quotas for enforcement activity.”
"Brooklyn's 77th Precinct Probed For Manipulating Crime Statistics" by Alison Gendar, Daily News, February 17 2011
A Brooklyn police precinct is under scrutiny after cops told investigators their bosses manipulated crime statistics, sources said.
The 77th Precinct, covering Crown Heights and Prospect Heights, first raised a red flag with unusually high numbers of unfounded cases − where cops respond to a report of crime and determine none was committed, sources said. After the review began, cops blabbed about other cases where they thought higher-ups improperly downgraded felonies to misdemeanors or told officers not to take a complaint, sources said. The probe is focusing on whether felony grand larcenies were bumped down to misdemeanors, and whether burglaries became criminal mischief complaints, two sources said.
Inspector John Cosgrove was precinct commander during the period in question. No departmental charges have been filed against him. He would not comment."An accusation surfaced that Cosgrove wasn't so much asleep at the switch, but that he encouraged the numbers [to] be manipulated," a source said.".... Cosgrove is a seasoned police executive whose leadership was recognized by award of the unit citation in 2009 for outstanding command performance," said Roy Richter, head of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association.
Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne declined to discuss the audit beyond noting that the system of internal reviews has grown more extensive since 2002....
The 77th Precinct isn't the first to come under scrutiny. In Bedford-Stuyvesant's 81st Precinct, Officer Adrian Schoolcraft claimed bosses refused to take crime reports from some victims − and filed a $50 million lawsuit against the city and the NYPD. The Daily News was the first to expose the allegations. Kelly transferred the 81st Precinct commander, Steven Mauriello, and charged him and four other 81st Precinct cops with manipulating the stats.Several other officers have since come forward to accuse police of fudging crime stats. Sources said the NYPD created the "superaudit" after the Schoolcraft scandal to look at closed and unsubstantiated cases.
[Note: in Baltimore this is called "juking the stats."
"NYPD Lt. Janice Williams Captured On Tape Pushing For More Busts, But Brass Says There's No Quotas" By Rocco Parascandola, Daily News, March 3 2011
An NYPD transit lieutenant was captured on tape telling cops to make more arrests to meet a captain's order and do more work if they want overtime assignments. "All they care about is ... summonses and arrests and 250s," Lt. Janice Williams said, using police jargon for the NYPD Stop, Question and Frisk reports."The bottom line is everybody's individual activity is being looked at."
Later in the recording − made during a roll call several months ago at Transit District 34 in Coney Island − she said only officers with "good productivity" will get the opportunity to work overtime. She also said Capt. James Sheerin wanted every cop to make at least one arrest per month − up from the previous order of one every three months − because crime had spiked and arrest totals were lower than other transit districts."He wants everyone to get in the mindset that there's no more collar a quarter," Williams said.
The News obtained the tape from Jon Norinsberg, the lawyer for whistleblower Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, who has publicly accused the NYPD of fudging crime stats and forcing cops to meet illegal quotas.
"Big Inquiry Into Ticket-Fixing in New York" by Al Baker, Joseph Goldstein, William K. Rashbaum, New York Times, April 17, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/nyregion/ticket-fixing-by-police-investigated-in-new-york.html
And the accusations will most likely anger countless New Yorkers, some of whom see the specter of quotas behind summonses they receive and whose response to a ticket is generally more straightforward — pay the fine and have points added to their driver’s license.
"Judge Declines to Dismiss Case Alleging Racial Profiling by City Police in Street Stops" by Al Baker, New York Times, August 31, 2011
At one point in her ruling, Judge Scheindlin provocatively termed some of the underlying evidence presented by the plaintiffs as a “smoking gun.” She was referring to audio recordings of station-house roll calls, in which officers received instructions on their arrest, summons and street-stops activity.“In sum,” she wrote, “I find that there is a triable issue of fact as to whether N.Y.P.D. supervisors have a custom or practice of imposing quotas on officer activity, and whether such quotas can be said to be the ‘moving force,’ behind widespread suspicionless stops.”
"Former NYPD Det.: “We Fabricated Drug Charges Against Innocent People to Meet Arrest Quotas” Hyper Vocal, October 13th 2011
A former NYPD narcotics detective admitted in court that the practice of planting drugs on innocent civilians to meet quotas was a pretty common one....
Stephen Anderson testified at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny, courtesy of a cooperation agreement. The New York Daily News reports that he had helped police officer Henry Tavarez meet his buy-and-bust numbers by fabricating cocaine possession charges against four men arrested in a Queens bar in 2008. Tavarez’s numbers were low and he was worried about the potential ramifications.
“Tavarez was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” Anderson told the court. “I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy.”
Justice Gustin Reichbach asked Anderson if he observed this practice — commonly referred to as “flaking” — taking place “with some frequency,” to which he replied “yes, multiple times.” Anderson kept most of his legitimate busts to himself, because, as he explained, “as a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division.”
Then, the judge questioned Anderson about any concern he had for his victims, to which Anderson responded that there was very little reflection going on at the time because the practice was so common among supervisors, investigators and undercover police....
Anderson and Taverez’s scheme was exposed when security cameras caught them framing Jose Colon and his brother Maximo. New York paid the siblings $300,000 in a false arrest suit settlement. A federal judge presiding over the suit said the NYPD’s plagued by “widespread falsification” by arresting officers.
When you’re police strategy for controlling illegal narcotics amounts to street rips and filling quotas, false arrests and planting drugs is the natural extension of those policies. There has to be a better way, though we’ll be the first to admit that our experience with police tactics boils down to five seasons of The Wire. Juking the stats does nobody any good except for the politicians upstairs.
Arbeeny is one of eight cops, including Anderson, arrested for false arrests and planting drugs on innocent civilians.
"Ex-Narc Admits Guilt In Queens Coke Sale" by William J. Gorta, New York Post, October 13, 2011
Anderson told Justice Gustin Reichbach that in January 2008, he gave two bags of cocaine to undercover Officer Henry Tavarez ... to help Tavarez, who was struggling to prove himself in the unit, pretend that the four men in an Elmhurst, Queens bar had sold him coke. Anderson, when asked about his feelings about the frame-up, said, “The corruption I observed ... was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators.” Anderson said he saw undercover cops lying about such drug sales by innocent people “multiple times.”
"8 City Officers Charged in Gun Smuggling Case" by William K. Rashbaum And Joseph Goldstein, Colin Moynihan, New York Times, October 26, 2011
In recent weeks, testimony at the trial of a narcotics detective has featured accusations that he and his colleagues in Brooklyn and Queens planted drugs or lied under oath to meet arrest quotas and earn overtime, leading to the arrests of eight officers, the dismissal of hundreds of drug cases because of their destroyed credibility and the payout of more than $1 million in taxpayer money to settle false arrest lawsuits.
Two other officers, in unrelated federal cases, have been charged in recent weeks with criminal civil-rights violations accusing them of trumping up charges against innocent victims. In one case, on Staten Island, a white officer is accused of falsely arresting a black man and then bragging about it using a racial slur. And in the coming days, 16 officers are expected to face charges in a ticket-fixing scandal in the Bronx.
In Drug-Planting Trial, Defense Says Officer Is Not Corrupt, but a Reformer, by Tim Stelloh, New York Times, October 27, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/28/nyregion/closing-arguments-in-police-drugs-corruption-case.html
Detective Arbeeny ... has been accused of planting drugs on a woman and her boyfriend, along with multiple counts of falsifying business records and other crimes. The case against Detective Arbeeny is another tale of corruption in Police Department drug units: Several narcotics officers in Brooklyn were caught mishandling drugs they had seized as evidence, and hundreds of potentially tainted drug cases have been dismissed. The city has made payments to settle civil suits over wrongful incarcerations.
In recent weeks, prosecutors in Detective Arbeeny’s case examined what they said was systemic corruption in those drug units. A former undercover officer, Stephen Anderson, who did not know Detective Arbeeny personally, described how officers who were unable to meet quotas routinely planted drugs on innocent people.
"Brooklyn Judge 'Shocked' By 'Cowboy Culture' Of Narcotics Cops" by Oren Yaniv, New York Daily News, November 1 2011
A Brooklyn judge declared himself shocked by the "cowboy culture" of narcotics cops Tuesday when he convicted a detective of planting crack on an innocent couple. "Having been a judge for 20 years, I thought I was not na´ve regarding the reality of narcotics enforcement," said Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach. "But even the Court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of the misconduct, but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed."
He found Detective Jason Arbeeny guilty of eight counts of falsifying records and official misconduct in an explosive bench trial that revealed the police practice of "flaking" - nabbing blameless people to pad arrest quotas and earn overtime. The judge noted that several witnesses said narcotics officers were expected to make 60% of their arrests for felonies and that cops would spread collars around so they could all meet the quotas. The judge even said that paled in comparison to the "mindset in Narcotics that seemingly embraces a cowboy culture where anything goes in the never-ending war on drugs".... Most troubling, Judge Reichbach said, was the "casualness" of arresting innocents, which emerged at trial.... Alluding to movies about police corruption, he said some of the testimony painted the Brooklyn South Narcotics squad "as a cross between 'Training Day' and 'Prince of the City.'"
"Detective Is Found Guilty of Planting Drugs" Tim Stelloh, New York Times, November 1, 2011
The New York Police Department, already saddled with corruption scandals, saw its image further tainted on Tuesday with the conviction of a detective for planting drugs on a woman and her boyfriend.... Before announcing the verdict, Justice Reichbach scolded the department for what he described as a widespread culture of corruption endemic in its drug units.... "Even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed.”
...there had been conflicting testimony during the trial about the existence of quotas in the department’s drug units.... In the department’s Brooklyn South narcotics unit, for instance, drugs seized as evidence are not counted or sealed until they reach the precinct and can be handled by multiple officers along the way, Justice Reichbach said, adding that such unacceptable practices “pale in significance” to the “cowboy culture” of the drug units. “Anything goes in the never-ending war on drugs,” he said, “and a refusal to go along with questionable practices raise the specter of blacklisting and isolation.” Sentencing is scheduled for January. Detective Arbeeny faces up to four years in prison.
"Experts Say N.Y. Police Dept. Isn’t Policing Itself" by William K. Rashbaum, Joseph Goldstein And Al Baker, New York Times, November 2, 2011
Seven narcotics investigators are convicted of planting drugs on people to meet arrest quotas. Eight current and former patrol officers are charged with smuggling guns into the state. Another is charged with making a false arrest, apparently as a favor for his cousin. Three more are convicted of robbing a perfume warehouse.
All these cases involved New York City police officers and unfolded or were resolved in recent months. But beyond the fact of criminal charges against those sworn to protect the public, they all had another thing in common: Each case was uncovered by an outside agency, not the Internal Affairs Bureau of the New York Police Department, the unit responsible for unearthing and investigating officers’ wrongdoing. This spate of unrelated corruption prosecutions, and what some see as the Internal Affairs Bureau’s spotty record of uncovering major cases involving crooked officers, raise questions about the department’s ability to police itself, said nearly a dozen current and former prosecutors who have handled corruption cases, as well as some current and former Internal Affairs supervisors and investigators....
There is a tiny city agency responsible for monitoring the Internal Affairs Bureau: the Mayor’s Commission to Combat Police Corruption. But it has no subpoena power — it must rely on the department’s good will, and its modest budget and staff of five are spread thin.
A new study by the Citizens Crime Commission in New York, provided by Richard Aborn, its president, shows that other major municipal police departments are overseen by agencies that do have subpoena power and can focus more broadly on misconduct.
Raymond W. Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner, and Chief Charles V. Campisi, head of the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau
Photo:James Estrin/The New York Time
"Vow to Fight Police Misconduct Faces Skepticism" by Al Baker, January 12, 2012
After a year that saw a steady drumbeat of police corruption cases and increased scrutiny of several New York Police Department practices, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pledged on Thursday to add four lawyers to the two-person legal staff at the agency responsible for monitoring the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.....
an elaborate F.B.I. sting operation led to several current and former New York City officers, many of whom worked at the same Brooklyn police precinct, being charged with taking payments to drive guns into the city. Prosecutors in Queens saw seven narcotics investigators convicted of planting drugs on people to meet arrest quotas.
Quota by Any Other
Name" by Al Baker and Liz Robbins, New York Times, January 13, 2011
"After 11 Years, a
Hits Turbulence" By N. R. Kleinfield, Al Baker and Joseph Goldstein, New
York Times, February 3, 2012
Lawsuit Challenges Punitive Quota
System in Bronx Precinct" by NYCLU, Feb 23, 2012
The suit claims that Officer Matthews was subjected to a campaign of
retaliation and harassment after he first told his precinct commanders in
2009 of the pressure that the quota system placed on officers. The system
was honed so that, according to Mr. Dunn, Officer Matthews said supervisors
made clear what minimum numbers were expected of each officer in a given
30-day period: 15 summonses, 1 arrest and 2 street stops.