The NYPD Tapes and New York’s Dailies: An Annotated History


February 2, 2010: The New York Daily News reports on a //>suspended NYPD officer named Adrian Schoolcraft, who alleges widespread downgrading of crimes in the NYPD’s 81st Precinct. //>No mention of the existence of audio tapes is made.//>

May 4, 2010: Graham Rayman’s cover story for the Village Voice — The NYPD Tapes: Inside Bed-Stuy’s 81st Precinct” — makes its debut, revealing that Schoolcraft had secretly taped 117 roll calls at his precinct in 2008 and 2009, which vividly documents the downgrading of crimes, intimidation of victims, and quotas for stop-and-frisks and summonses.//>

May 10, 2010: Graham Rayman writes about Debbie Nathan, victim of sexual assault that was downgraded by NYPD to “forcible touching”: “NYPD Forced to Apologize Publicly to Rape Victim for Downgrading Her Attack.” (Nathan’s story had also appeared in other local websites.)//>

May 11, 2010: Graham Rayman releases part 2 of The NYPD Tapes series, more material from the Schoolcraft tapes showing a concerted effort to make arrests under dubious criteria.//>

May 12, 2010: The New York Times reports on the climbing number of stop and frisks by NYPD officers: “New York Minorities More Likely to Be Frisked .” No mention of the Village Voice, Graham Rayman, or The NYPD Tapes series.//>

June 2, 2010: The New York Times now reports on NYPD’s downgrading of sexual assaults, “Panel Seeks More Police Training on Sex Crimes.” No mention of the Village Voice, Graham Rayman, or The NYPD Tapes series. The story is buried deep inside the paper.//>

June 3, 2010: New York Times reports on a confrontation between Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Councilman Albert Vann. Article briefly mentions Village Voice: “A tipping point for Mr. Vann came last month, after The Village Voice published transcripts of audio recordings of what it said were station house conversations made by an officer in the 81st Precinct, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, that laid bare what the newspaper’s report characterized as a pattern of pressure exerted by commanders there onto the precinct’s rank-and-file officers.”//>

June 10, 2010: Graham Rayman releases part 3 of The NYPD Tapes series after another former NYPD officer comes forward to detail a serial rapist who was not caught earlier because his assaults had been downgraded to misdemeanors.//>

June 15, 2010: Graham Rayman releases part 4 of The NYPD Tapes series, the dramatic retaliation against whistleblower Schoolcraft, forcibly hospitalized by the NYPD.//>

July 31, 2010: New York Post reports on the indictment of the NYPD sergeant whose voice was heard on tapes discussed by Graham Rayman in The NYPD Tapes series. No mention of the Village Voice, Graham Rayman, or The NYPD Tapes series.//>

August 9, 2010: Graham Rayman breaks story on lawsuit to be filed by Adrian Schoolcraft against NYPD. The lawsuit alleges that Ray Kelly’s top spokesman, Paul Browne, was present when Schoolcraft is hauled away to psych ward.//>

August 10, 2010: New York Daily News reports on lawsuit, “Whistleblowing cop slaps NYPD with $50 million suit for locking him up in psych ward .” No mention of the Village Voice, Graham Rayman, or The NYPD Tapes series.//>

August 25, 2010: Graham Rayman releases part 5 of The NYPD Tapes series after yet another officer, Adil Polanco, comes forward with tapes of his own, made in a Bronx precinct.//>

September 9, 2010: New York Times releases piece on NYPD tapes, “Secret Tape Has Police Pressing Ticket Quotas.” Briefly mentions the Village Voice near the bottom of the second page of the story, noting: “At one point in the second recording, made after the tapes by Officer Schoolcraft were put online in May by The Village Voice, Inspector Mauriello told supervisors to get officers out of squad cars and onto the streets.” //>

In the 16th paragraph, the New York Daily News and New York Post are credited with the story: “The latest recording was made on April 1, as the internal inquiry was under way, and after some of Officer Schoolcraft’s allegations had become public in The Daily News and The New York Post.” //>

Acknowledgement of the Voice‘s NYPD Tapes doesn’t appear until the 32nd Paragraph.//>

There are 35 paragraphs in the story, which opens not with a narration on the corruption of the New York Police Department, but the trivial-sounding difficulty New Yorkers face every day because of ticket quotas: “For nearly every New Yorker who has received a summons in the city — caught at a checkpoint monitoring seat-belt use, or approached by a small army of police officers descending on illegally parked cars — quotas are a maddening fact of life.”//>

Noticeably absent from the Times story is what Mauriello can be heard saying on tape, regarding the time after the initial story about Schoolcraft in the Daily News (in February): “You know, I thought it was a dead issue until The Village Voice came out.”