The NYPD Tapes Confirmed

The report police hid for nearly two years that corroborates a Voice investigation — and vindicates a whistle-blower the NYPD tried to destroy

•The precinct commander ordered cops not to take a car theft. Here, the victim ran into several barriers in filing her complaint. First, an officer told her to wait a few days to see if the car reappeared. That advice delayed the investigation for two days. In addition, Schoolcraft had alleged that Mauriello ordered the female officer not to take the complaint. The officer lost five vacation days as a result of the investigation.

•In a 2009 incident, an elderly man said he was a burglary victim. When he showed up at the precinct to file a report, a sergeant told him to go to another precinct to file. Again, this is a violation of the NYPD's own policy. It was only after a newspaper article appeared months later that a report was taken.

•A 60-year-old retired traffic agent made repeated visits to the precinct to get a complaint number for her stolen vehicle from May through June 2009. The investigation showed the report was never entered into the NYPD computer system, preventing it from being counted in the crime statistics. Investigators concluded nothing would have been done if the woman hadn't been a former traffic agent and pressed the issue.

Details

NYPD Tapes: The Series
The NYPD Tapes Part 1
Inside Bed-Stuy's 81st Precinct
The NYPD Tapes, Part 2
Bed-Stuy street cops ordered: Turn this place into a ghost town
The NYPD Tapes, Part 3
A Detective Comes Forward About Downgraded Sexual Assaults

The NYPD Tapes, Part 4
The WhistleBlower, Adrian Schoolcraft

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

•In another auto theft, the victim got frustrated because she had to wait hours to file her complaint. The report was never entered in the computer system.

When she went to the 81st Precinct, the victim was told she had to go to the 79th Precinct. When she contacted the 79th Precinct, she was told she had to go to the location where the vehicle disappeared and report it to the 81st Precinct.

"She waited an inordinate amount of time, her was complaint was never investigated, nor was a complaint report ever generated," investigators concluded.

•A man walked into the precinct to ask for his car-theft complaint report in June 2009. The report had disappeared, and a new one was made. Schoolcraft claimed that Precinct Commander Mauriello refused to accept the report.

A month later, two men were arrested for stealing the car. Only after that did 81st Precinct cops enter the report.

The victim subsequently confirmed that he felt that Mauriello was "interrogating" him and doubted he was telling the truth.

Investigators concluded that the report should have been an auto theft, not an "unauthorized use of a vehicle." They also found that Mauriello's account contradicted that of the victim and his cousin and wasn't credible.

•Investigators also recommended charges against a sergeant who told officers on Mauriello's orders not to take robbery reports if victims refused to return to the station house. Although the remark was on the Schoolcraft recordings, the sergeant initially denied ever saying that. Mauriello denied issuing any such order.

Investigators learned that no report was ever taken for the incident, which led to the sergeant's order.

•After a woman reported a knifepoint robbery, another precinct sergeant told cops, "If no surveillance cameras show her getting robbed, she's going to be locked up." In essence, cops were pressuring her not to file the complaint. The victim got frustrated, and no report was filed.

Investigators concluded that two officers failed to take the report, and the sergeant failed to follow up. All three cops are facing possible charges.

As to Schoolcraft's claims that Mauriello and one of his lieutenants repeatedly ordered cops to downgrade index crimes, investigators examined hundreds of complaints and found several dozen misclassified reports.

Even so, Mauriello and precinct supervisors still denied there was any extensive manipulation of crime reports.

A sergeant and officers told investigators that Mauriello reviewed the previous days' crime reports, but Mauriello denied that. He also denied calling victims back himself, even though the Schoolcraft tapes and a statement by one of Mauriello's lieutenants clearly show that he did.

Schoolcraft claimed that index crimes weren't being entered into the NYPD computer system that tracks crime reports citywide. Investigators found, based on a seven-week sample, that was true in 7 percent of cases.

Precinct officers did upgrade some complaints, but only at the low rate of one report per week, investigators concluded. Those upgrades were often done more than a month after the incident, rendering it impossible to actually solve the crime.

"This represents a severe delay in accurate crime reporting and calls into question the motive for changing the classification" after so much time had passed, investigators wrote.

Probers found seven instances where a crime was initially called a felony, changed to a misdemeanor, and then upgraded to a felony again long afterward. Investigators wrote that they found "severe deficiencies in the overall crime-reporting process as a whole."

Investigators found 46 crimes in all where something was not done properly, and thus did not make it into the precinct-crime stats. Twenty-five were misclassified, 16 were missing, and five weren't entered into the system.

"The investigation revealed the lengths that some members of the command went to in order to avoid index-crime reports," investigators concluded, going on to describe a "reluctance" to submit the reports. Since it was Mauriello's ultimate responsibility, investigators cited a "serious failure" in his command.

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