NYPD Tapes Fallout: Precinct Commander and Deputy Chief Under Investigation
In the wake of the Voice's "NYPD Tapes" series, police are investigating the conduct of a precinct commander and a deputy chief in connection with events at the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn, and the decisions that led a department whistle blower to be dragged from his home in handcuffs and placed in a mental ward, the Voice has learned.
Department investigators are probing whether Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello broke any rules in his handling of complaints made by Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft about misconduct in the precinct, police sources and Schoolcraft's lawyer say.
As the Voice reported in part 4 of the "NYPD Tapes" series, Schoolcraft recorded Mauriello haranguing officers to make quotas. In one tape, an officer tells Schoolcraft about three incidents where Mauriello either downgraded a crime complaint or refused to take it. Investigators are looking into whether Mauriello retaliated against Schoolcraft for reporting misconduct to Internal Affairs.
Meanwhile, investigators are also looking into whether Deputy Chief Michael Marino violated department regulations, police sources and Schoolcraft's lawyer, Jon Norinsberg, say. On Oct. 31, 2009, Marino ordered police officers to forcibly take Schoolcraft o the Jamaica Hospital psychiatric ward.
A tape of that incident obtained by the Voice indicates that Schoolcraft was not displaying any signs of the kind of mental duress that would require such an order. In the tape, Schoolcraft makes no statements which could suggest that he was either a danger to himself or others. And yet, Marino ordered his forcible removal anyway.
The Voice has reported that hospital records show that police gave doctors false information which then led them to classify him as a psychiatric case. Specifically, police told doctors that Schoolcraft had screamed at his supervisor, had run from officers and that his front door had to be broken down. None of those statements were true.
The Voice has asked the NYPD and the Mayor's office for comment on a range of lingering questions about the Schoolcraft case. None has been forthcoming.
Mauriello was transfered to Bronx transit just before the July 4th weekend. Marino, meanwhile, remains at Patrol Borough Brooklyn North. He still has an open disciplinary case for purchasing steroid cream from a Brooklyn pharmacy accused of illegally distributing the drug.
A last note: Schoolcraft's lawyer Jon Norinsberg tells us that his firm has set up a website "to allow officers to come forward and provide information which might be useful to our investigation." The website is at www.schoolcraftjustice.com.
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.