DNAinfo reports that the New York Police Department is gearing up to face “a police scandal the likes of which the city has not felt in decades,” which could very well be a huge overreaction, but still sounds thrilling. The reality is far less exhilarating than it first seems, but still might reverberate, as “thousands of hours of recorded conversations” show cops fixing tickets, with at least 10 officers slated to be arrested in a few weeks following a grand jury probe, one that’s been simmering for a while now. At least 24 cops are being kept from retiring until the investigation is over, according to today’s report, with some left “trembling that their entire careers and pensions could be lost.”
Details of the investigation are still vague, but will likely include criminal charges of bribery and perjury, and might hit hundreds of cops by the end for “violating various department rules — raining from fudging reports and tampering with official records to failing to take action to stop fellow cops from fixing tickets.” The fixes were mostly done in the name of friends or family, predictably, but the Bronx D.A.’s office is after them all anyway.
DNAinfo insists that the case could include the federal government if it’s proven that “this is a systematic problem,” but the full scope of the scandal won’t be known until the Bronx prosecutors finish their push. In the meantime, the NYPD has already instituted an electronic system that makes it harder to toss a ticket.
And when the other shoe(s) start to drop on this scandal, keep an eye on your Post and Daily News covers every morning, because they’re doubtlessly salivating already.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 11, 2011