A Queens police sergeant, Robert Borrelli, has added his voice to other cops who say crime is being systematically downgraded throughout the NYPD. Borrelli says that he tried to report this downgrading by two commanders in a Far Rockaway precinct, but was transferred for his efforts. He also claims he got the runaround from the Internal Affairs Bureau, natch.
In this, he joins Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft formerly of the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn and Adil Polanco of the 41th Precinct in the Bronx in experiencing NYPD retaliation for trying to report manipulation of crime reports in what has become one of the biggest scandals of Mayor Bloomberg’s administration.
Borrelli, a 19-year NYPD vet, gave interviews to the Voice, the tabs and WABC over the past week alleging widespread manipulation of crime reports in the 100th Precinct. His reward for coming forward? Transfer to the midnight shift in the Bronx court section–a clearly punitive transfer akin to sending a dissident to Siberia.
Like Schoolcraft and Polanco, Borelli only went public after the department tried to bury him. Previously, he had provided the NYPD’s Quality Assurance Division with a dozen questionable crime reports that had been downgraded from felony to misdemeanor crimes to avoid placing the precinct in a bad light.
He cited several instances in an interview with the Voice, including a shooting classified as misdemeanor reckless endangerment, and a burglary classified as criminal mischief. In the former case, someone fired four shots at a cabdriver. In the latter, a cop coached the victim to change her account, he says.
But the NYPD once again, as in the cases of Schoolcraft and Polanco, has tried to essentially “kill the messenger.” Official spokespeople dispute Borelli’s allegations.
Deputy Inspector Kim Royster, commenting instead of top spokesman Paul Browne for some reason, told the tabs that Borrelli claims were investigated and only found four “misclassified” reports. Most were “unfounded,” she claimed. In the New York Post, Borelli was portrayed as a fellow with an axe to grind. This begs the question: Why would someone commit career suicide over statistics unless he had good info?
This is becoming a familiar story: a cop steps forward, only to be smacked down by the NYPD, instead of appreciated for trying to do the right thing. Schoolcraft was dragged out of his apartment and forced into a mental ward. Polanco was attacked as a malcontent
and suspended indefinitely. Now, Borrelli, too, faces this character assault.
Can you say ‘chilling effect’?
At the same time, at this point, can Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg still cite the crime statistics with a straight face? Doubtful.