City Councilman Al Vann, who has represented Bedford-Stuyvesant in some elected capacity since 1974, weighed in on the NYPD’s refusal to release 11 years of 81st Precinct crime statistics, calling it “unacceptable.”
“Given the past controversy in the 81st Precinct, it is especially important that the NYPD be forthcoming and transparent with respect to what occurred in the precinct over the past decade,” he said, in a statement. “By concealing this public information, the NYPD is not only violating the law, but jeopardizing the significant progress made in rebuilding the relationship and trust between the Bedford-Stuyvesant community and the 81st Precinct.”
Vann, a former U.S. Marine, was an assemblyman from 1974 to 2001, when he was elected to the City Council. His remarks followed the filing of a New York Civil Liberties Union lawsuit which demands that the NYPD release the data. The NYPD did release data for every other precinct in the city, but balked at making the 81 crime audits available, citing ongoing investigations into allegations of tampering with crime reports.
The 81st Precinct was the nexus of the scandal involving Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, who was carted off to a psychiatric ward three weeks after making allegations that his commanders were manipulating crime statistics. Schoolcraft secretly made recordings inside the precinct, which were the centerpiece of the Voice’s award-winning “NYPD Tapes” series. The disclosures led to several internal investigations, and transfers and disciplinary action against the commander and four of his subordinates.