NYPD Tapes 3: A Detective Comes Forward About Downgraded Sexual Assaults

When even attempted rapes are being downgraded to misdemeanors, is the public safe?

Sometimes, he says, crime analysis would hold a complaint until the following week so it wouldn't count against that week's statistics. "Sometimes you would get a robbery or a burglary or one of the seven majors a week later because they do their stats on a weekly basis," he says. "If one week was too high, they would hold onto it and push it to the next week. The thing is, they are supposed to be assigned on a daily basis. That's a week of a case sitting dead, no one running down leads."

Patrol bosses would call the victim and try to get her to change her complaint: "If that didn't work, they would send it to the squad, and by then, it could be a week old," he says.

Countless times, he says, he received calls from victims about lost reports: "The victim says, 'I've been calling for a week,' and I have to say, 'I understand you're upset.' "

The NYPD has long said that manipulation of crime complaints occurs very rarely. But Hernandez and other detectives who spoke with the Voice disagree. "This is going on in all 75 precincts," he says. "Unfortunately, this is the culture for the young cop coming into the department. He doesn't see the bigger picture. If it's going to allow him to have a day off, and they won't ride him or harass him, he'll go along with it. And New Yorkers are being victimized, and no one responds to their complaints."

grayman@villagevoice.com

Next week, "NYPD Tapes" continues with the story of Adrian Schoolcraft, the police officer who secretly recorded roll calls at the 81st Precinct in Bed-Stuy, and who was put in a mental ward after bringing up his concerns about downgrading crime reports to superior officers.

Follow continuing coverage of the NYPD Tapes here at our Runnin' Scared blog.
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1 comments
markfloridajames
markfloridajames

I came across this article about downgrading of serious crimes in Ney York when researching a proposed move here in England. As a criminal barrister I have witnessed the same process here. Assaults with bottles leading to cuts or wounds are being charged as the least serious form of assault with a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment and summary trial, rather than jury trial and a potential life sentence. And the reason .. better crime statistics and lower costs

 
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