NYPD on Trial: Police Say They Are Forced to Harass Kids in Order t...

Arrested in your own building for trespassing? Not if you're white and well off.

NYPD whistleblowers say quotas are forcing them to make bogus, racist stops, summonses and arrests.

Last week, NYPD whistleblowers Adhyl Polanco and Pedro Serrano, who secretly recorded supervisors demanding that officers fill quotas, testified in federal court that they were forced to violate the law to meet numbers. “We were handcuffing kids for no reason,” Polanco testified. The two officers are testifying in a class-action suit targeting the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy.

Quotas for NYPD activity are illegal under New York labor law, but secretly recorded roll calls reveal supervisors pushing officers to get "20-and 1," meaning 20 summonses and 1 arrest per month. Monthly quotas also required five "250s," or street stops.

“There’s a difference between” the department’s policies on paper and “what goes on out there,” in real life, Polanco told the court.

Polanco, who is Dominican and said he is from Washington Heights, testified that he joined the case because, “I know what it's like when it's 95 degrees in an apartment on the fifth floor and you go downstairs because you had a fight with your sister, because it's simply too hot, " he said, "and get arrested in your own building for trespassing, as we have seen, get summons, get pat down, get harassed by police -- I don't believe that's why I joined the police department."

Almost 90% of more than half-a-million people stopped annually by the NYPD are black or Latino, and the majority of them are young and living in low-income areas with higher violent crime rates. Nonetheless, the arrests and summonses NYPD officers say they are forced to make are typically for low-level, nonviolent offenses. In one recording played for the court, an NYPD captain urging more activity told officers, “the summons is a money-generating machine for the city.” [emphasis mine]

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