NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft secretly taped his superiors at Brooklyn’s 81st precinct for more than two years, revealing strictly enforced arrest quotas and the fudging of crime statistics, only to be thrown in a mental institution. His story was detailed in a five-part Village Voice series in 2010, and yet Schoolcraft has now been “suspended without pay for 27 months, he faces department charges, he was placed under surveillance for a time, and the city even blocked his application for unemployment benefits.” Today, Voice reporter Graham Rayman reveals that an NYPD investigation, in the form of a 95-page report, was completed two years ago and backs up Schoolcraft’s allegations, then adds to them.
“When viewed in their totality, a disturbing pattern is prevalent and gives credence to the allegation that crimes are being improperly reported in order to avoid index-crime classifications,” the reports says. “This trend is indicative of a concerted effort to deliberately underreport crime in the 81st Precinct.” Index crimes, which determine the crime rate, include murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny, and auto theft. And, for example, at the 81st precint: “a Chinese-food delivery man robbed and beaten bloody, a man robbed at gunpoint, a cab driver robbed at gunpoint, a woman assaulted and beaten black and blue, a woman beaten by her spouse, and a woman burgled by men who forced their way into her apartment.”
Still, the city won’t acknowledge these findings publicly, instead opting for a “kill the messenger” tack with Schoolcraft. (The department predictably did not comment on the article.) Rayman (a former coworker of mine at the Voice) writes, “The implications of the report are obvious: If the 81st Precinct was a typical station house, then crime manipulation is more widespread than city officials have admitted.”
In the words of one former NYPD captain, “This is a culture. This is happening in every precinct, every transit district, and every police housing service area. This culture has got to change.”