The disturbing reports today from the trial of a detective on corruption charges once again confirm allegations raised in the Voice’s NYPD Tapes series that the quota pressure causes police officers to do bad things.
Former Brooklyn narcotics detective Stephen Anderson testified last week that cops commonly made up drug charges against innocent people to hit arrest quotas, according to reports in the New York Post and Daily News.
Anderson himself was arrested for planting cocaine on a quartet of men in 2008 in a bar in Queens to help another officer, Henry Tavarez, meet his buy-and-bust quota.
“Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny, the Daily News wrote.
“I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy,” Anderson testified last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court, the Daily News reported.
In the Voice series, Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft alleged that officers routinely made up stop-and-frisk reports, dubbed “ghosts,” to make their monthly quota. Moreover, precinct commanders are heard haranguing cops to just go out do stop and frisk people, even when there was no crime to respond to. Quotas affected everything from arrests to traffic tickets.
Eight officers were arrested in the probe, and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered widespread transfers in Brooklyn South and Queens narcotics units.
When Judge Gustin Reichbach asked whether this sort of thing was frequent, Anderson replied, “Yes, multiple times.”
“It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators,” he added, the News reported.
The News reports that the city paid $300,000 to settle a false arrest lawsuit filed by two men against Anderson and Tavarez. A federal judge declared that the NYPD is “plagued by widespread falsification by arresting officers,” the News reported.