Stop and Frisk in NYC

The trial in the main case challenging the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices, Floyd v. City of New York, began this week, and yesterday whisteblowing cop Adhyl Polanco testified about the quotas that encourage officers to stop people without the “reasonable suspicion” the Supreme Court has said the Fourth Amendment requires. Polanco, whose recordings of police roll calls caused a splash when excerpts from them were first aired by WABC-TV in 2010, said cops feel strong pressure from superiors and union representatives to issue at least 20 summonses and make at least one arrest a month. “I spoke to the C.O. [commanding officer] for about an hour and a half,” says a Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association delegate in a recording that Polanco made during a 2009 roll call in the Bronx. “Twenty and one. Twenty and one is what the union is backing up….They spoke to the [PBA] trustees. And that’s what they want. They want 20 and one.” That requirement, Polanco explained in court, was “non-negotiable,” meaning “you’re gonna do it, or you’re gonna become a Pizza Hut delivery man.”

New York Cop Explains How Quotas Encourage Unconstitutional Stops

Floyd v. City of New York

Police Officer Pedro Serrano recorded his commanding officer in a Bronx precinct just last month bringing a racial component into his orders to perform more stop and frisks, according to testimony and audio played in day four of the landmark challenge to one of the NYPD’s signature strategies.

Meanwhile, recordings made by a second police officer, Adrian Schoolcraft, in the 81st Precinct in Bed-Stuy and first obtained by the Village Voice echoed inside the courtroom three years after they were made.

The remarkable exchange captured in February, 2013 by Serrano goes to the heart of plaintiff’s contention in Floyd v. City of New York that the vast rise in stop and frisks were racially biased. The city has countered that the number of stops correspond to crime trends.

New NYPD Tapes Introduced In Stop and Frisk Trial


Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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