Two weeks ago, the Voice reported that the NYPD performed criminal records searches on whistle-blowing police officer Adrian Schoolcraft, his father, Larry, and his sister during the course of an administrative, non-criminal investigation into Schoolcraft’s decision to leave work an hour early back in 2009. Now, we’re a little closer to knowing whether the police violated state rules in performing those searches.
This all dates back to the period following October 2009. On October 7, Schoolcraft had given evidence of manipulation of crime reports to NYPD investigators. Three weeks later, on October 31, Schoolcraft, feeling threatened by a supervisor, went home early. Hours later, a retinue of police bosses and heavily armed officers came into his apartment and dragged him to the Jamaica Hospital psych ward.
Schoolcraft remained there for six days against his will. After that, he moved upstate to live with his father. It was during that period that the NYPD performed the criminal records searches–a fact confirmed by documents and, more recently, by the city’s lawyers in a federal court hearing.
As we reported recently, Schoolcraft not under criminal investigation. And neither was his father or his sister. In fact, his sister lives in Texas and had no idea what was happening to her brother at the time. So, the question became, was it kosher for the NYPD to run not only his name, but those of his father and sister?
The Voice has obtained the criminal records search agreement between the NYPD and the state Department of Criminal Justice Services, which oversees the database.
Under that agreement, there are a series of “authorized inquiries,” which are specified in appendix a of the agreement, which was obtained through the Freedom of Information Law.
Searches are allowed for fingerprint submissions, during a criminal investigations, for a jail or prison inquiry, for investigations related to warrants and wanted persons, for prosective employment in law enforcements agencies, and for people who work as contractors for law enforcement agencies.
In short, it doesn’t look like the searches of the Schoolcrafts’ name fall under any of those approved inquiries. The question now is whether anyone’s going to look into this possible misuse of one of the more sensitive databases that exists.