Federal Judge: 'NYPD Tapes' Smoking Gun Evidence of Police Quotas
A federal judge has described tapes made by Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft as "smoking gun" evidence of quotas in a lawsuit challenging the NYPD's stop and frisk strategy.
The recordings were the centerpiece of a five-part Village Voice series, "The NYPD Tapes," last year, and now they have become a central element in a lawsuit claiming that the NYPD's stop and frisk strategy is unconstitutional, "a widespread pattern and practice of suspicion-less and race-based stops and frisks by the NYPD."
In an 86-page decision, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin rejected the city's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of several New Yorkers who object to being stopped.
"Plaintiffs have presented the smoking gun of the roll call recordings, which considered together with the statistical evidence, is sufficient circumstantial evidence for this claim to survive," Scheindlin wrote.
The decision is in many ways an initial vindication for Schoolcraft, who tried to raise concerns within the NYPD, and not only rebuffed and ignored, but was dragged into a psychiatric facility by police for six days, after he gave detailed evidence of misconduct to department investigators.
Schoolcraft was deposed in the case, and has also filed a lawsuit alleging his civil rights were violated by the NYPD.
The number of stop and frisks have skyrocketed. The NYPD says it is a law enforcement tactic that has helped reduce crime. Critics call the strategy harassment of young black and hispanic men.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
- Sanitation Sergeant Frank Musella Dies on the Job on Staten Island
Sat., Aug. 1, 2:00pm
Sat., Aug. 1, 7:00pm
Sun., Aug. 2, 3:00pm
Sun., Aug. 2, 3:00pm
- New York's Medical Marijuana Licenses Expected to Be Awarded by Friday
- The Ray of Ray's Candy Store Back in the Shop Despite Heart Surgery