By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Reacting to the Voice's article last week on a secret NYPD investigation that vindicated a whistle-blower who reported downgrading of crime, New Yorkers reached out to us to report their own difficult experiences with trying to file crime complaints.
In e-mails, phone calls, and comments to The Village Voice and other media outlets—including The New York Times and WNYC—several dozen New Yorkers shared appalling experiences about the simple act of reporting a crime.
The Voice reported last week that a secret internal report withheld by the NYPD for nearly two years confirmed most of the allegations about downgrading of crime reports made by Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft in October 2009. For his trouble, Schoolcraft claims the NYPD retaliated against him by forcibly dragging him to a psychiatric ward at Jamaica Hospital where he was held for six days.
See also: Our previous cover, "The NYPD Tapes Confirmed"
City Councilman Peter Vallone tells the Voice the findings in the NYPD report on Schoolcraft's allegations mirror what he has been hearing for some time from New Yorkers. "This report might be a game changer," he says. "This is even more evidence that the crime statistics are not accurate. It happens far too often for it to be just mistakes."
Vallone plans to hold a hearing once Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's three-member panel is finished with its review of the crime statistics. That review is now more than six months late. Vallone has written two letters to Kelly questioning the delay without an answer from the commissioner.
"Because of the circumstances, the treatment of Schoolcraft should be looked at by the commission that Kelly established," Vallone adds.
"You would think people at City Hall would be worried about retaliation against people who report misclassification of crime reports," says Christopher Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "City Hall should be doing something about this."
A retired NYPD detective called for a federal monitor to oversee the department.
A police officer wrote the Voice to tell us: "The NYPD has become in many ways a pyramid scam. Commanding officers will downgrade every crime they can in order to get politically promoted."
Among the anecdotes told to the Voice was one by a man who reported an assault to police and was accused of lying. "The detective did one of those callbacks, was very nasty, and accused me of lying," he said. "He dropped the case. One of the officers told me, 'It's not really an assault unless you're bruised, bloody, and broken."
Another man said he was robbed by a man he met at a nightclub. Precinct police were unresponsive, even after the victim gave the name and identifying details to investigators. "I was ignored by police, my apartment was never printed, and I had to contact my city councilman to get them to call me back," he says. "I am trying to hold the NYPD accountable for . . . I don't know . . . doing their jobs."
A resident of the ritzy Donald Trump development on Riverside Drive in Manhattan told the Voice about a burglary on December 7, 2011. She says burglars cleaned her out of about $60,000 worth of possessions. She called 911, and the person who took the call told her to go to the precinct. She did and brought two police officers back to her apartment.
The victim was told a detective would follow up. That took four days. That detective doubted her claims. "Among the absurd reasons he gave me were there had never been a robbery in Trump Towers, so he didn't believe I had been robbed," she says.
She says the detective refused to interview any witnesses. "He said witnesses had no credibility because I could tell them anything I wanted," she says. "He concluded no robbery had occurred because 'I couldn't prove everything I claimed was missing was in my apartment on the day I'd been robbed.' How could anyone?"
She says she complained about the detective to the precinct commander, but the commander never called her back. The detective then called her and yelled at her for getting him in trouble with his boss. She filed a complaint with Internal Affairs. Two months of pestering them later, she was told the complaint had been dismissed. "What makes this truly remarkable is that no one from IAB ever spoke to me once to get any facts or details as to what I was complaining about," she says.
As a result of the police refusing to take her complaint, she says, her insurance company is denying her claim. "We've become double victims," she says.
A Brooklyn man told the Voice about a terrifying 2007 incident in which three teens robbed and beat him, fracturing his skull. He spent a week in the hospital as a result. He says when he tried to report the incident, though, he got so much resistance from the police that he finally had to ask for help from a police-officer friend.
A Manhattan woman went to her precinct to report an earlier road-rage incident in which another driver cut her off and threw metal tools at her car. "The desk captain asked me why I was bothering to report something that already happened earlier, and when I insisted he take a report, he found a lackey to do it," she wrote.
Where is the Civilian Complaint Review Board? It was mandated years ago to prevent Police Corruption, Does it exist? It did not respond to investigate when I reported two assaults on my sons that were not logged in or investigated in 2007 and 2002, We need a Non Partisan Watchdog Agency. Mike Bloomberg pals with Ray Kelly on stop and frisk and survelliance so he will not interfere. A State Board for Crime Prevention would help.Step Up Kirsten Gillibrand and Christine Quinn as it is Election Time!
Does NYPD help big banks silence their whistle blowers? Does NYPD cooperate with them, look the other way and help them cover up their retaliatory crimes?
I was hired by SunTrust Bank for their first McKinsey Client Team and my subsequent 20 years internal management and technology work with them provided a privileged perspective on their operations.
Three SunTrust Executive Vice Presidents were fired for accounting improprieties during a major Securities And Exchange Commission of SunTrust Bank. After talking with the SEC about other major accounting problems, a long running series of thefts, threats, vandalism, sabotage, a stalk and smear campaign and cellphone and email hacking intensified.
Is this standard for NYPD or does NYPD look the other way when there are criminal actions against whistleblowers the big banks want silenced?
Thanks for a superb investigation!
Should I dare comment for fear of retaliation from Police Dept?. Someone tried to kick in my door while I was at work a few months ago ,living in NYC I was a little afraid . I called the PD and spoke w/ a Detective he told me to come in and file a complaint, when asked if I should come down, he replied ==When yo get a chance ===Nice
Like "No Child Left Behind", tying promotion and pay to factors outside the control of the employees had disastrous results. If the next mayor allows an honest accounting he'll be pilloried by the media and political opponents for the 'rise' in crime. In fact WaPo had an article about a good school teacher who was fired because her value added stats were low, seems all the teachers before her cheated, so she looked bad for being honest.
Here again, a political cultural change is necessary to permit politicians to have honest assessments of performance.
But it's not just New York police, it's everywhere. I was mugged by a group of teenagers in Santa Cruz, CA., and the prosecutor threatened me with prosecution if I pursued a complaint.
This needs to change and quickly too! It is not surprising that Mayor 1% Bloomturd and his lackeys ignore the real problem in this city. They just want all of the tourists who come spend as much as they want while ignoring the real crimes that are happening!!! This culture has got to stop right now!!!
Police Dept. don't want to do anything but they want the public to believe that crime is down! I reported a couple of years ago where someone threw a something at my window breaking it when i tried to get the report to show my landlords so that i would not be charged the report was never found! Thank God the window was broken from the outside otherwise i would have been charged for it, there is no point wasting your time making reports no one really follows it! It's funny my son got into a dispute with his girlfriend where she actually told the detective in the 33rd pct that she was not going forward with the report he came to my house my son was at work he insisted that i tell him where my son worked i refused and told him i would tell my son to go in on his day off where another detective i spoke said it was fine How the detective posted over 100 wanted posters all over the building on the streets in the bus terminal as if my son had killed someone he finally bought my son in only for those charges to be dismissed i still have over 60 of the posters in my possesion! Why the the detective did it ? Oh that's right it was a vendetta because i filed a sexual harrasment complaint againt one of his co workers which is also a very good friend of his i reported my sons incident to IAB the officers claimed that we were uncooperative so no one ever followed my report! THAT'S THE POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR YOU! YES DETECTIVE CHAD VASQUEZ I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU!
Hello,It is possible to report a crime that was committed so that the litigation of course depends on interpretation of the evidence and what occured. Yet, when the crime is that a suspect claims people are attempting to kill him, Justice may need to prevail in accordance to an appropriate intervention.
I'm the daughter of a NYC patrolman, and granddaughter to a NYC detective. That said, my experiences w/ the NYPD have largely been negative. Simply speaking, they pay attention to what they choose to.
Rewind to the dark and dirty days of NYC - say late 80s. Home alone in a dicey neighborhood in the Bronx, I woke up around 3:00 a.m. to a woman screaming "Help Me!" I shot out of bed to call the cops. In my sleepy stupor, I wrongly phoned my father's precinct. I explained the situation to the cop who answered. I was bluntly advised "You've got the wrong precinct," and he hung up on me before I could even get a phone number!
So much for CPR "Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect."
The NYPD should be broken up and prosecuted under RICO. It is an organized crime group, manned by armed thugs.
9/11 was ten years ago. Ten years. Yet, these gangsters have no problem using the deaths of their fallen "brothers' from an event that occurred more than ten years ago to take advantage of the goodwill of a completely defenseless population.
My Thanksgiving dinner table has four men at it who are members of the NYPD, PAPD and NCPD. If the public-at-large had any idea of the level of contempt the police have for them, things might get dicey for our "finest". I use that term loosely.