The NYPD Goes After Another Cop Who Secretly Recorded His Boss

Quota casualty

In the years since New York Police Department Officer Adrian Schoolcraft emerged with secretly recorded evidence of misconduct in a Brooklyn precinct, other cops have been inspired to follow in his footsteps, capturing their commanders pressuring them to hit illegal quotas.

The NYPD has long denied that it's compelled officers to reach certain figures for arrests, stop-and-frisks, and summonses. But the recordings proved that officers faced the threat of bad assignments, transfers, or other punishment if they didn't make their numbers.

Schoolcraft's tapes played in dramatic fashion in the recent landmark stop-and-frisk trial, which could lead to a federal monitor overseeing the NYPD. Two Bronx officers also made similar recordings, as did an unnamed supervisor, who caught his bosses profanely complaining about cops who didn't make their quotas.

Now comes patrolman Clifford Rigaud, an 11-year veteran who secretly taped his commander in South Jamaica's 103rd Precinct pressuring him to write 15 summonses a month.

Like Schoolcraft, Rigaud claims he was a hard-working officer. He once ran into a burning building on Hillside Avenue to make sure the tenants were out, and earned a commendation for intervening in an armed robbery.

Rigaud claims that when he resisted quota pressure, his bosses began to squeeze him, using a series of administrative rules and unwritten tactics. He was fired last week after he filed a lawsuit and a series of complaints charging supervisors with discrimination. To Rigaud, it looked like the ultimate retaliation.

"I tried to go through the chain of command instead of talking to the media, because I have five children to support, but that did not work out at all," he says. "This department will come after you for everything they got. Schoolcraft's fear of the NYPD is correct, and even worse than he thinks."

Rigaud's lawyer, Stephen Drummond, says the department offered paper-thin justification to get rid of a veteran officer. Rigaud was fired for not showing up for psychiatric evaluation during his suspension—though officers are routinely allowed to tend to such issues after they return to work.

The speed of his removal seemed suspect, since Police Commissioner Ray Kelly habitually takes months, even years, to decide the fate of cops accused of much greater offenses like fraud, drug trafficking, or the beating of suspects. "Here again we see Rigaud being treated differently," Drummond says.

Police spokesman Paul Browne did not respond to repeated interview requests.

Rigaud graduated from the academy in 2002. He partnered for years with Officer Michelle Alexander, who recently retired.

"He was well-liked on the street by the people in the community," Alexander says. "He didn't take shortcuts. If you needed to be stop and searched, you were, but if you didn't do anything, you weren't. He used his discretion, but the bosses were only interested in numbers, and that's where he would bump heads with them."

When Rigaud arrived at the 103rd at the end of 2005, he soon ran afoul of Lieutenant Jason Margolis, his tour commander.

Rigaud claims his bosses retaliated against him for low quota numbers by assigning him to public pool duty, forcing him to work alone on foot patrol in dangerous neighborhoods, and yanking him to provide extra security in tourist areas like Times Square.

At one point, he was ordered to return early from vacationing in Florida to work security at One Police Plaza, which has its own full-time security unit. And after the Haitian-American Rigaud volunteered to assist in the aftermath of a major earthquake in Haiti in 2010, he was told by one of his bosses, "You know how Haitians are, they're going to shoot each other," according to his lawsuit.

Rigaud, a Muslim, was also criticized for growing a beard, which he thought would make it easier for him to interact with the Muslim community. He claims he was ordered to shave and told, "I hope you don't plan to blow up anything."

At the end of 2009, Rigaud's sergeant had given him a 4.0 out of 5 on his evaluation, but Margolis overruled the score, pushing it down to a 3.0. The sergeant was upset and gave Rigaud a copy of the higher evaluation, later saying that she "had no problems with his arrest activity."

A few months later, he got into an argument with Margolis, a spat common to any precinct. But the department demanded that Rigaud see a psychiatrist.

In March 2010, it came to a head. With a digital recorder rolling, Rigaud met with precinct Commander Charles McEvoy. The ensuing conversation—despite the NYPD's claims to the contrary—showed how quotas still dominated the force's day-to-day activities.

Rigaud argued that Margolis' lower evaluation was retaliatory and unfair, since he was responding to a lot of calls that didn't necessarily end in arrests. "Me and him have been having issues since the day I got here," says Rigaud on the tape. "That's not what I deserve.

"I deserve a 4.0 because of the work I put in. Look at the amount of jobs I carry. Look at the summonses I put in. Something's totally wrong. I go from a 4.0 to a 3.0? Come on. That's pure retaliation."

"If you feel that way, Cliff, you're certainly entitled to feel that way, " McEvoy responds.

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19 comments
HotPocket
HotPocket

He's a police officer who been in the force for eleven years and question the constitutional of stop, question and frisk and arresting for no reason at all. Jidestefano you say this officer was lazy, lethargic and had pathetic performance. He's a patrol officer that does patrol, not assign to any precinct or Nypd detail. There's about 10000 police officers on detail that never do patrol. So they lazy, lethargic and have a pathetic performance in your view. Doing patrol in South Jamaica for elevens years, risking his life doing patrol in one of the worst part of New York City, answering jobs on the radio, is being lazy? So numbers, numbers and numbers is doing police work? Throwing out community policing, understanding the law and using it correctly is out the question. So brutality and corruption is the way to stay on the Nypd. Remember in the end of day Charles McEvoy will no longer be commander of the 103 precinct but, the community is not moving and neither is the patrol officer unless he get promoted. One day when police officer need help the community will alway be the first on the scene. You think the community will help this police officer if he’s a bad cop?


jldestefano
jldestefano

Wow! This guy had no "SQF"'s, and only two arrests for the year? Why did they tolerate such laziness and lethargy and pathetic performance from this officer for so long? Two arrests? No Stop, Question, Frisk's"? This would put him in the extreme low end. He should've been fired long ago. The people should be happy the NYPD has finally managed to rid itself of someone who apparently retired on active duty.

Knowbeyoutalk
Knowbeyoutalk

                       @jldestefanoI if you would research this case little more, you would of find out the commanding Officer Charles McEvoy on tape (youtube) wanted 15 stop, question and frisk, 10 Moving violation and 25 varies conditions summons and parking summons per month. In this type of neighborhood 3 to 1 arrest a month. Total of 35 summons, 15 stop, question and frisk and at less two arrest a month. I think that more then 2%.  Charles McEvoy use numbers to get himself promoted. He even stated that on the tape. There are several lawsuits against Charles McEvoy and Jason Margolis. Have you pay attention to the news lately, you see a lot of brutality and corruption going on with Nypd Officers. These Officers do a deserve to the badge and the job and cause the city million dollars. Yet these Bad cops are still able to keep there job. Officer Rigaud an eleven year vet of the force who never dishonor his badge, the Nypd, tried to point out issues going outside and inside the 103 Pct within the Nypd get dismiss?   

jldestefano
jldestefano

Yeah OK the perils of speaking the truth. Sounds like two more disgruntled, "the community loves me" losers. Any cop who doesn't see 50-60 vehicle violations PER DAY is not on the street. What are you asked to write? About 2% of the violations you see. Oh wait I forgot. I said 2%. that's a quota too I guess. The reality is you have to start somewhere. The article is garbage anyway since it keeps repeating "quota" as if its a fact, as if the writer learned it firsthand. I'm happy to see that the NYPD has managed to rid itself of yet another disgruntled, apparently blind boss-fighter. Of course the idiot civilians hearing of this issue are happy, since they want to commit as many traffic violations as possible without receiving tickets. And if this loser Rigaud had his way, the number of people killed each year in NYC in motor vehicle accidents would triple, all because loser Rigaud refused to do his job and enforce less than 2% of the traffic violations he saw, putting the public at risk.

Fukk Mayor Bloomberg
Fukk Mayor Bloomberg

ray kelly is like an abortion that lived. if there is karma in this world he will be in chains before the devil takes him.

Minerva Vasquez
Minerva Vasquez

Keep uncovering all the gov corruption. Is the only way the truth will come out. Hopefully they will all be in jail, where they belong!!

carltonbanks43
carltonbanks43

@jldestefanoI can tell from your diatribe that you are not an officer. Many New Yorkers are law-abiding and very respectful towards police. Officers just want to do their jobs without the extra harassment from supervisors or the drive for numbers. There is in fact a quota system; there is in fact a down grading of crime as Adrian Schoolcraft pointed out and was severely punished for it. This officer did the right thing and upheld the oath we take and was also punished for it. Furthermore, it is the NYPD under Bloomberg and Kelly that has created unnecessary hostilities and sent police-community relations to a new low. My class was 95-54.

jldestefano
jldestefano

Another product of the NYC Public School system.

jldestefano
jldestefano

A well-written sentence! Refreshing.

jldestefano
jldestefano

@malacorazon @jldestefano I don't know who advised this fired officer to refuse an order to attend a medical evaluation, but that person got him fired. In case you attended the NYC Public School system, I'll repeat what I said, and I'll talk slow.

Any officer on patrol witnesses at least 50 or more traffic/parking violations. That's over 1,000 per month. In any business model, there are guidelines and goals. If the Commanding Officer does an evaluation of the Precinct and finds that 15 summonses and other paperwork generated is appropriate for that Precinct, then that's his assessment. Obviously, the numbers and requirements would be higher in midtown Manhattan than they would be in quiet Queens, hence the ridiculously low "15" number supposedly stated. The Captain of the Precinct couldn't care less about how much money these summonses generate or don't generate. The Captain cares about ONE thing and is judged on ONE thing and is held to ONE standard and ONE standard only: traffic accidents. And it's a fact that certain tickets, moving and parking, prevent accidents and reduce injuries.

With me so far?

For example, if the Captain of the Precinct cared about revenue for the City, he would have his officers writing every type of summons imaginable, including meters, a big money-maker for NYC. Unless you're assigned to a summons detail, they do not want you writing expired meters. Why? No expired meter ever caused a car accident. Meters do not help in the effort to prevent accident/reduce injuries. It's not just moving violations. Double-parking summons are big because double-parking is shown to cause a significant amount of accidents, forcing motorists to make sudden lane changes. Double parking also causes traffic jams, another indicator that a Captain is judged on. There are cops from QCD (Quality Control Division) that have a full time job of going out and measuring traffic delays through time and distance. Seat belt summonses are big since they lead to serious injuries and death in accidents, yet another indicator that a Captain in judged upon. Whatever the conditions are in a particular precinct, the Captain will be asking for those types of summonses, and setting an incredibly low number he believes is an appropriate number for that particular precinct.

I have NEVER seen or heard of a Captain questioned about how much money he raised for NYC the previous month. However, I've see plenty called onto the carpet because their accidents were off the charts, and the summonses, which are proven to prevent accidents/reduce injuries, were not at the level they should've been, given the number of accidents the Captain had. And why would a Captain have his accidents off the charts? Because every once in a while, you get a disgruntled officer incapable of taking orders, who would rather tape record his co-workers than do his job like prevent car accidents. Every business has disgruntled people who can't take orders; the NYPD is no different, nowadays anyway.

jldestefano
jldestefano

@carltonbanks43 89-21. And crime went down over 80% overall because of what you claim is a "drive for numbers". EVERY business has what's called a "business model". I love this game "quota-calling". I just said 80%.....I guess that's a quota also. Any cop on patrol witnesses a minimum of 1,000 violations per month, parking and moving. If the Captain deems 15 summonses per month more or less a number that will drive down his accidents, then you should be helping the effort instead of hiding in some useless unit somewhere. It's not just "summonses", but certain types of summonses. If you're truly on patrol after 18 years on the job, and patrol is the only place you'd get an informed opinion on these matters, don't tell me  you've never seen an officer get spoken to because he/she wrote a useless summons like an expired meter or "feeding quarters" which is also another violation in NYC. Ever wonder why? Because these summonses do not assist in the effort to prevent accidents and reduce injuries. Go to any TRAFFICSTAT. Precincts whose accidents are off the charts had a corresponding low number of summonses that would've prevented those accidents in a certain area. Certain summonses are guaranteed to prevent accidents/reduce injuries, and that's why they're written, and that's why this "drive for numbers". I'm on patrol, you're not. 

jldestefano
jldestefano

@Bite_Me @jldestefano @malacorazon By the way, mariconcorazon, has anyone seen or heard from "Carlton Banks" after I exposed him for being the liar and fraud that he is? His claim of being a cop was hilarious. Some liars are actually pretty good at it. "Carlton" was a dead give-a-way, however. The fact that he's a police impersonator jumps off the page. Sad. I guess things aren't going well in his life, and he has to pretend to be someone and something he's not. And to think you were stupid enough to believe him! Another proud product of the NYC Public School system.

jldestefano
jldestefano

@Bite_Me @jldestefano @malacorazon Try to have some originality....."in case you went to NYC Public Schools?" That was my line. You're funny and sad at the same time. Being a police officer is a job like anything else. I have no responsibility whatsoever toward raising your kids and providing a role model figure. That was your father's job.

Regarding being "butt hurt", I already exposed him for the liar and fraud that he is. He is not a cop, and was never a cop, just someone who claims to be a cop. A cop can smell an imposter right through the computer, and NO cop talks the way he talks. Just another liar and fraud as far as I'm concerned.

And you. No ingenuity whatsoever. You merely repeated back everything I said to you. Another proud product of the NYC Public School system. And failed parenting don't forget. One day we sat outside a public school and watched all the kids coming out, looking to see if ANYONE was actually bringing books home. NOTHING. Empty hands and school bags. You're a product of that, which I could tell by your plagiarized writing.

Que pasa un buen dia, mariconcorazon!

Bite_Me
Bite_Me

@jldestefano @malacorazon In case you attended the NYC Public School system, I'll speak real slow.  I got crayons and I got time.


Police...are...public..servants....not..a..business.


Revenue...that means money..should..always..be..a...side-effect...of...law...enforcement...not..the..main...focus...


With me so far?


I'll speed up a bit.  Coming down to your level is a bit tiresome.


Quotas should not exist.  What should exist is the basic thinking of "Do Your Job."  Job in this context should be, "Enforce All Laws", "Uphold the oath you took", and as a 'Public Servant', THAT MEANS YOU SERVE THE PUBLIC!!, not give into pressures from your command.


Let me go real simple since I doubt you even finished in the NYC Public School system.  You're a disgrace to your badge, to the uniform, to everything law enforcement everywhere represents, to those that serve along side you, and to everything and everyone.


Congrats if you made it this far.  I realize your head must be hurting from reading.  I recommend Aspirin and icing it down.


I'll end with this.  Don't be so butt hurt that a former colleague had the testicular fortitude to record and call out his command for bs.


It's your responsibility to do the same, in case you've forgotten.

jldestefano
jldestefano

@carltonbanks43 @jldestefano You're a complete hypocrite. If you get pulled over for running a red light on East 83rd Street and Madison Avenue, and a police car pulls you over, what is the FIRST thing you're going to do? You're going to stay silent as he writes you a red-light summons? You're going to show the officer your shield & ID and tell him "I'm on the job", not to make conversation but to get out of getting a ticket. You know it and I know it.

By the way, you're not a cop. You're a liar. You're a fraud. OK Mr. "95-54"?. So take your slavery references someplace else to someone else who cares, and keep making excuses as to why you're a failure in life.

carltonbanks43
carltonbanks43

@jldestefano @carltonbanks43 Youre right the old business model for policing was to prevent the slave owners from taking losses due to their slaves running away and today it to keep the children of slaves in line and to continue to ensure a profit is made off them. Meanwhile, the corruption of police officials is hidden and covered up. So I guess the NYPD is functioning as it should.

 
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