By DAVY VARA
Why is it that people always refer to the New York City Police Department as the best police department in the country?
The N.Y.P.D. is actually one of the most corrupt police forces in the U.S. The department has a long history of committing some of the most heinous crimes
against innocent citizens. Take, for instance, the 1999 execution of Amadou Diallo, a 23 year old Guinean immigrant who was shot at 41 times by N.Y.P.D. cops Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon, and Kenneth Boss. Diallo, who was unarmed and simply had his wallet in his hand, was hit 19 times. Just over one year later, a jury acquitted all of the cops.
Also, Abner Louima, a 30 year old Haitian immigrant, who suffered severe internal damage when N.Y.P.D. officer Justin Volpe sodomized him with a broomstick in Brooklyn’s 70th precint. Afterwards, Volpe proudly displayed the excrement and blood stained broomstick to his fellow officers as he bragged that he had just “broke a man”. Volpe then threatened to kill Louima and his family members if Louima told anyone. Justin Volpe was later convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Sean Bell, executed by N.Y.P.D. undercover cops on the morning of his wedding day, in Queens. Bell had just left a club with friends when he was confronted by a plain clothes N.Y.P.D. cop who didn’t identify himself. When Bell sped off, the cop fired 50 rounds at Bell’s vehicle, killing Bell and severely injuring his friends. And, even though neither Bell or any of his friends had a gun, the N.Y.P.D. smeared Bell’s character after the incident, and his friends were under investigation instead of the cops!
During last year’s annual West Indian American Day Parade, N.Y.P.D. officers used facebook to post extremely disturbing comments, violating the department’s policy barring officers from making “discourteous or disrespectful remarks” about race or ethnicity. The facebook group, which totalled 1,200 members, posted comments from N.Y.P.D. officers such as Dan Rodney who stated “I say have the parade one more year, and when they all gather, drop a bomb and wipe them all out.”
Other comments from N.Y.P.D. officers included calling people “animals’ and “savages”. The comments on facebook, included references to West Indian and
African-American neighborhoods, and were so offensive that some N.Y.P.D. officers themselves posted warnings to other officers advising them to be careful that Internal Affairs “rats” don’t take notice of the comments. However, many didn’t seem to care, and went on posting comments such as “Let them kill each other”.
In a recent New York Times editorial piece, a strong point is made of the need for a “strong, independent agency to investigate serious complaints about New York City’s police force.” After several corruption cases involving the N.Y.P.D., including seven narcotics officers convicted of planting drugs on people, three officers convicted of robbing a perfume warehouse, eight current N.Y.P.D. officers charged with smuggling guns into the state, and a federal lawsuit accusing the N.Y.P.D. of engaging in racially biased “stop and frisk” incidents, there is serious doubt that the department can do an effective job addressing misconduct and corruption without outside help.
The N.Y.P.D.’s Internal Affairs Bureau, which is responsible for investigating complaints of police misconduct, failed to uncover any of these problems. In fact, they were brought to light by a local district attorney, the F.B.I. and, in one case, a New Jersey police department.
Recently, N.Y.P.D. officers, gathered outside State Supreme Court in the Bronx, for the unsealing of indictments against 16 of their fellow officers, who were arraigned on charges of corruption, after a three-year investigation into the N.Y.P.D.’s fixing of traffic and parking tickets, which in all cost the City of New York, close to $ 2 Million dollars. Officer Jose Ramos, a member of the N.Y.P.D.’s 40th precint, and whose suspicious behavior led to the ticket fixing investigation in the first place, was accused of two dozen crimes, including attempted robbery, attempted grand larceny, transporting what he thought was heroin for drug dealers and revealing the identity of a confidential informant. Ramos is facing up to 50 years in prison.
The officers yelled “Down with the D.A.” and “N.Y.P.D. Commisioner Ray Kelly, is a hypocrite.” Inside, more than 100 off-duty N.Y.P.D. officers lined the courthouse hallways and stood outside the courtroom. The officers prevented members of the news media from filming their colleagues by blocking cameras, grabbing lenses and shoving television camera crews into walls.
The outpouring of angry officers and their behavior was in violation of N.Y.P.D. policy which states “Conduct which brings discredit to the department or conduct in violation of law is unacceptable and will result in disciplinary measures.” Perhaps the best of example of the N.Y.P.D.’s disgusting, unprofessional conduct, despite always being lauded as the best police department in the country, is how at one point, the crowd of at least 350 officers outside the courthouse began chanting “E.B.T.” at people lined up at a benefits center across the street, referring to electronic benefit transfer, the way welfare recipients receive their food stamps and/or cash benefits. A court official who came outside to attempt to calm down the crowd of officers, was insulted with profanities by the N.Y.P.D. cops. The indicted N.Y.P.D. officers came out of the courthouse pumping their fists, as the crowd of their fellow officers burst into cheers. Once the rowdy crowd of N.Y.P.D. cops had cleared, the street was littered with refuse.
Eugene J. O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice makes a very powerful and telling point, in referring to the N.Y.P.D. when he said “The Police Department is a very angry work force, and that is something that should concern people, because it translates into hostile interactions with people.”
I don’t know about you, but I find it disgusting and downright deplorable whenever I hear the N.Y.P.D. being referred to as “The best police force in the country”. Are you kidding me?
Editors note – check out this video created after the actions of some NYPD employees at the 2011 West Indian Day Parade: